Coronavirus certificate required for access to ice rinks

The ice rink in Tallinn's Old Town.
The ice rink in Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Rene Suurkaev / ERR

Just as only vaccinated people, or those who have recovered from the coronavirus, are permitted into public swimming pools or gyms, the same requirement is in place at ice rinks and ski slopes. On the issue of doing sports in the fresh air, removing the coronavirus certificate requirement has been discussed, but there is no consensus between the government's scientific council, the Health Board (Terviseamet) and the government itself.

It came as a surprise to many that they could not get into a paid ice rink, or a ski-lift in a downhill ski resort, without a Covid certificate, ERR reports. According to the Health Board, this is part of a government order that has been in force for several months.

"In winter, all winter sports are included as well, for example, the ice rink behind us on Harju Street (the most well-known ice rink in Tallinn-ed.), it's activity on a limited area organized by someone within the framework of economic activity, and then it's mandatory to ask for the certificate," the spokesperson of the Health Board Imre Kaas said.

"It's really a specific rule that we've discussed in the government, whether it's actually justified or not. On the one hand, outdoor activities are safer and I think there could be a relief to make it easier for people to participate. But there is currently no consensus between the scientific council, the Health Board and the government," Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said.

The scientific council agrees with the Minister of Health. The member of the council professor Krista Fischer said that the probability of being infected in the open air is not so high as to be worth the extra effort. However, this does not bother the Health Board.

"At the moment, the board still assumes that we are currently spreading the Omicron strain in Estonia and that the future is quite confusing and we do not know how it will affect our lives. Therefore, we do not currently support the easing of any restrictions," Kaas said.

Kaas added there is a risk of infection, for example, by putting on skates or queuing up behind at the ice rink, where more people may gather.

"I hope that the time will come when we can remove such safety measures, but now, unfortunately, it is very risky to remove any requirements in the light of the Omikon strain," Minister of Social Security Signe Riisalo (Reform) said.

Only schoolchildren and vocational school students up to the age of 19 do not need to bring a coronavirus certificate when going for a ride or snowboarding. Without the certificate, you can play sports on cross-country trails, toboggan runs or ice rinks, which are not restricted.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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