Visitor numbers fall after covid certificates introduced

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Coronavirus certificate. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

After coronavirus certificates checks were introduced last week, there has been a fall in visitors to entertainment venues, especially at spas and cinemas.

Kristjan Kongo, CEO of cinema chain Forum Cinemas, said the number of cinema visitors dropped by 40 percent last week. He said the colder weather was favorable for cinema trips but there were fewer tickets sold than expected. However, it is difficult to know if the drop is entirely related to the coronavirus passports.

"It also depends on the choice of film and the weather. It seems that people are not yet sufficiently informed about the rule. They still come here without a certificate or proof," he said.

Piret Betlem, a member of the board of Kalev Spa, said the number of visitors to the center decreased by at least a fifth compared to a week ago but it is likely to be related to several factors.

"In our case, we never know what it [lower occupancy] depends on. We think the corona passport is one of the reasons, but a week earlier there was an Ironman competition, which made our hotel very popular and we were full of customers. Occupancy also depends on the weather and many other factors. But an estimated 20-25 percent of the drop in sales has come from confusion surrounding the checking of the corona passport. Customers just don't know about it," Betlem said.

Betlem said he fully agrees that certificates should be checked. Kristjan Kongo agrees but thinks cinemas could work better with occupancy rules instead.

"Then we can schedule sessions so that people are scattered in the theater and that sessions start at different times," he said.

How can you get a coronavirus certificate?

There are three types of certificates that show if a person has been vaccinated against coronavirus, recovered from the illness or has recently tested negative.

They can be downloaded from the Patient Portal or a copy can be requested for free from the Social Insurance Board (Sotsiaalkindlustusamet).

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Editor: Helen Wright

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