Court: Health Board, PPA's 2021 pandemic closure of Tallinn cafe justified

Police officers by the entrance of MEM Cafe in Tallinn in late 2021.
Police officers by the entrance of MEM Cafe in Tallinn in late 2021.

Tallinn Administrative Court dismissed a complaint by MEM Cafe against the actions of Estonia's Health Board and Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), finding that the Health Board's decision to close down the Tallinn cafe in late 2021 was justified and the agencies' COVID-19 restriction-related precepts legitimate.

In November 2021, the PPA issued MEM Cafe a precept as the cafe owner was not verifying visitors' COVID vaccination certificates. At the time, however, cafe owners were obligated to do so under government orders. The Kalamaja cafe did not stop violating these orders even after being fined several times.

The PPA then turned to the Health Board, which on November 29 issued an order closing down the cafe.

Tallinn Administrative Court agreed with the Health Board's justification that in the public interest, closing the business was the only effective measure available. The court likewise annulled the preliminary injunction applied to recoup substitutive enforcement costs.

The court was also of the position that the PPA had the authority and competence to conduct supervision by involvement, issue fines as well as employ measures based on the Law Enforcement Act upon entering the cafe.

MEM Cafe did not appeal the administrative court's decision, which entered into force on July 25.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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