Mall security workers have the right to ensure store-goers are wearing a face-mask, interior minister Kristian Jaani says. This would include restricting the movement of those not wearing a mask.
Jaani said that: "Many shopping malls have taken the commendable step of including the obligation to wear a mask and keep a distance in their internal rules. These are necessary rules of conduct, adherence to which can be monitored by security workers in shopping malls that have introduced the corresponding internal rules.
Jaani added that the private sector has the right to establish rules of conduct on its own premises, where this is aimed at ensuring staff and public safety.
The legality of mandatory face coverings has been a contentious topic in Estonia as it has elsewhere. The recently unveiled round of restrictions which has doubled down on the requirement to wear masks in malls and stores, on public transport and in other indoor, public places has brought the matter into focus again.
Jaani said that violators should be reported to the mall owners or security staff, and that these had the right to eject those not complying from the premises, or even to involve the police.
"[Security guards etc.] have the right to send the people breaking the rules out of the shopping center. If needed, security workers also have the option of involving the police," Jaani, a former policeman himself, said, noting that the requirement had in fact been in place since November, and commending malls which had instilled a culture of following the regulations.
Those exempt from mask-wearing include children under the age of 12 and those with a valid medical reason.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte