Information point for refugees opens at Tallinn Bus Station

Tallinn Bus Station.
Tallinn Bus Station. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

An information point has opened in Tallinn Bus Station to advise newly arrived Ukrainian refugees on how to access help or organize onward travel.

The info point was opened by the Social Insurance Board on Tuesday and is open from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. every night.

Approximately 200 people have arrived every night since then, the Social Insurance Board said in a statement on Saturday.

At the moment, the majority of refugees are coming to Estonia by bus from Russia. They are mainly from Mariupol in southern Ukraine and intend to move on to other countries, such as Latvia, Poland or Germany.

Head of the Joint Emergency Response Team Kert Valdaru said the bus station has accidentally turned into a reception point after the center at Niine 2 stopped providing 24/7 help.

Police, who have been monitoring the situation, and workers at the bus station decided more information was needed on site.

Valdaru said people are also being asked about the help they need when they cross the border into Estonia.

"But it may be that people are in an emotionally difficult state when crossing the border and have not thoroughly thought about where they want to go or what kind of help they need when they arrive in Tallinn," he said.

Staff and volunteers at the info point can help new arrivals find a place to stay, refer them to a reception point in the morning, help with onward travel plans and provide food.

"Many people do not want to leave the bus station because their buses leave in the morning. That is why we have organized ten extra beds at the bus station, where people can relax a bit. Over four nights, we have helped to find accommodation for about 90 people, most of whom are people whose next bus leaves in a few days or, for example, families with small children," he said.

More than 32,000 refugees have arrived in Estonia so far who say they plan to stay for the foreseeable future. Each day approximately 600 people arrive and around half are in transit to other countries.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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