Niine refugee center in Tallinn to reduce hours of operation to weekdays
As the opening of the new reception center in Pärnu on Monday has reduced the number of overnight arrivals as well as first-time registrants in Tallinn, beginning next Monday, the refugee reception center located at Niine 2 in Tallinn will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The center at Niine 2 will remain open 24 hours through Friday, March 25 at 5 p.m. It will then be closed over the weekend before reopening at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 28.
"Currently, people coming to the Niine center to register are primarily those who are staying with relatives or acquaintances in Tallinn and did not wait in line when there were a lot of arrivals," Tallinn Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina (Center) said according to a city government press release. "The center on Niine Street will continue serving refugees staying in Tallinn regarding educational, social and employment issues."
The Niine Street center, which was opened on March 2 to serve incoming war refugees from Ukraine, has thus far been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center has aimed to provide arriving refugees with a one-stop shop for all service, assistance and information they need upon arriving in Estonia.
Following the opening of the new reception center in Pärnu, which is aimed to provide more immediate assistance to refugees arriving via the border crossing at Ikla, the Niine Street center is intended to remain a contact point for refugees in the capital for receiving various services and counseling offered by the city, particularly school and kindergarten registration for children. It also includes a distribution point for first aid supplies and referrals to a food distribution center.
For those already registered, Tallinn's Education Department, Vital Statistics Department, Social Welfare and Health Care Department and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund all provide services at the center. Following the opening of the Pärnu center, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will no longer be providing its counseling services at Niine 2.
Starting Tuesday, March 22, the Reuse Center (Uuskasutuskeskus) at Punane 50 in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District also began distributing clothing and household items for free to Ukrainian refugees. All refugees registered at the Niine refugee center are issued an Ühiskaart smartcard, which is valid for free public transport and other services and can be used to receive items free of charge at the Reuse Center as well.
As of Wednesday, Estonia has received 22,624 war refugees from Ukraine since February 27, according to PPA figures.
To date, the center in Tallinn has registered over 10,300 refugees, including more than 4,200 minors.
Click here for more information about the Tallinn refugee reception center and here for more info and a full list (in Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian and English) of cultural and leisure opportunities in Tallinn offered to registered refugees.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla