The Estonian Traders Association has announced that all stores will begin demanding mask-wearing from customers from October 25. In addition, active sales and tastings will be suspended and malls will close common areas.
"We will do all we can for workers and customers to wear masks. Security personnel will check for masks near entrances and general areas, masks will be distributed to customers and they will be denied service without a mask," the association announced on Tuesday.
All companies in the association will promise to implement mask-wearing requirements in their internal rulebooks. "This gives us the legal foundation to check for mask-wearing," the association wrote, calling all stores to implement such regulations as soon as possible.
The association of stores promised to do all they can to avoid people spending time in malls and stores, which means all common sitting and pastime areas will be closed. In addition, active sales and tastings will be suspended.
Larger malls will also provide rooms for mobile or stationary vaccination centers, if the state calls for it. "We will host medics and promote it for free in our channels to provide people with a chance to get vaccinated while shopping," the announcement reads.
"The situation is critical again and following restrictions can no longer be ensured by state resources. It is for this reason that we will make an additional effort to keep providing Estonian people with necessary goods and services while also maintaining the jobs and incomes of our staff," the association's head Nele Peil commented.
The association said previous experience shows that store self-regulation had a significant effect on mask-wearing. Nearly 95 percent of all customers wore masks in stores that joined the self-regulation initiative in spring. The association recommends people shop in e-stores if they do not want to wear masks.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste