Pandemic puts 2021 independence day president's reception in doubt

End of the year interview with President Kersti Kaljulaid.
End of the year interview with President Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The traditional annual president's reception marking independence day is under threat as a result of the pandemic, as is the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) parade, which takes place on the same day.

Given the situation with rising COVID-19 rates in Estonia and neighboring countries, the traditional evening reception on February 24, which sees the head of state and her husband shaking hands with over 1,000 attendees following a gala concert, a process which takes a good two hours or so,

ERR's online news in Estonian reports that this format will not be followed in 2021, though the change has not been confirmed by the president's office. In previous years, guests had received their invitations by around this time of year, ERR reports.

Instead, President Kersti Kaljulaid's independence day speech, as well as the gala concert, will only be available to view on the television, and the daytime EDF parade, which draws thousands of spectators and participants and plenty of heavy military kit is also in doubt, though what would replace it has not been clarified.

This year's Victory Day (June 23) parade was also canceled.

President Kaljulaid herself has had to quarantine on two separate occasions, after coming into contact with individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 soon afterwards. She has nonetheless conducted the traditional end-of-year interview with ETV news anchor Priit Kuusk, which will air on Tuesday night at 9.30 p.m.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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