Authorities have started conducting mask-wearing checks on public transport in Tallinn, ETV current affairs show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Wednesday. The requirement to wear face-masks was reintroduced nationwide on August 2, amid rising coronavirus rates.
The checks are being conducted by Tallinn's municipal police (MuPo), in conjunction with the Health Board (Terviseamet), while the latter will not be fining people, the board says.
Margit Kallas, head of the Health Board's northern regional department, told AK that passengers generally comply with the requirement and there are no issues with those people who have forgotten to wear a mask, or who were unaware of the reinstatement of the requirement.
She said: "People have been very, very polite and there has been no malice or aggressive behavior. Instead, they have apologized, and then asked to be given a mask. People are very law-abiding."
"I could say that this morning there have been about a dozen people who have asked for a mask from us, because they had forgotten theirs. Many people also had a mask in their bag already, and pulled it out and put it on when requested," she went on.
The checks were conducted at the Vabaduse väljak bus stop and Linnahall tram stops on Wednesday.
AK reported that the public had varying opinions on the need for the checks; some said it was necessary to ensure the rule is being adhered to, not for its own sake but in order to keep society functioning and reduce risk from the virus, while others said they always wore a mask in any case, and still more who said they would not wear one.
The random checks will be taking place nationwide, at major events as well as on public transport, so far as the Health Board's resources allow it, AK reported.
MuPo operates only in the capital and has often been tasked with checking passengers' tickets - Tallinn residents are eligible for free public transport travel within city limits, but must present the corresponding green card when requested.
Editor: Andrew Whyte