Rakvere refugee center closing Tuesday, arrivals to be sent to Pärnu, Tartu

An Estonian Refugee Council-chartered bus transporting refugees from Ukraine to Estonia.
An Estonian Refugee Council-chartered bus transporting refugees from Ukraine to Estonia. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The refugee reception center set up in Rakvere to serve war refugees arriving from Ukraine is closing on Tuesday, the Social Insurance Board (SKA) announced. Further arrivals will be directed to the reception centers in Pärnu or Tartu, from which they will also receive transport to their accommodations if necessary.

Jako Salla, head of social protection at the joint Emergency Headquarters, said that as war refugees are arriving in Estonia primarily via the border checkpoints in Ikla and Valga, it would be reasonable for all initial procedures, including health checks and applications for Estonian personal identification codes or temporary protection, to be conducted at the nearest reception centers — in Pärnu or Tartu, respectively, according to an SKA press release.

"Currently we've made a conscious decision to not direct people to accommodations in Tallinn, and so it is primarily those people with relatives or other acquaintances with whom to stay that are reaching the capital," Salla said. "This is because thus far, Tallinn has accepted the most war refugees, and it would be reasonable to better spread people throughout Estonia."

If any arrivals are in need of housing organized by the state, they will be directed to accommodations from the reception centers in Pärnu and Tartu. "Transport from the reception center to their accommodations will be arranged by the state," the official added.

Those who have already arrived in Estonia but have not yet been able to apply for a personal identification code or temporary protection can do so at their closest Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) service office.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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