Police supervision of restrictions
What basis does the police have to supervise compliance with the restrictions?
In relation to the rapid spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, the Health Board declared a health emergency on Wednesday, 11 August, which provides a basis for involving the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) in the supervision of restrictions. The Health Board then submitted a request for involvement to the PBGB for the performance of the functions of the Health Board. The PBGB accepted the request and the Government of the Republic approved it by an order on 13 August. The order permits the PBGB to assist the Health Board from 16 August.
What exactly does the police supervise?
The police monitor compliance with quarantine and isolation requirements and compliance with the imposed restrictions. In particular, we monitor, whether people wear a mask in places where it is mandatory and whether the requirements for public events are met. We pay attention to whether the event organisers check the customers' certificates that prove the individuals are not infectious.
How long will the Police and Border Guard Board supervise compliance with the restrictions?
The police will be involved in monitoring compliance with the restrictions initially until 31 December or until the state of emergency is lifted.
What has changed compared to the supervision activities conducted in spring?
Previously, only the Health Board could conduct proceedings concerning possible violations. The amendment to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, which entered into force in the summer, now allows the police, in addition to supervision, to carry out proceedings on its own and fully resolve a situation, if necessary.
Do the police conduct supervision activities within their regular working hours or are there separate patrols put in place for this purpose?
The police will supervise both in the course of their regular work and, if necessary, by issuing additional patrols.
In which situations will the police let people off with a warning and when will it impose a fine?
Above all, we hope that people will understand the need for restrictions and comply with them. First, we always talk to a person. Depending on the infringement, it will then be decided whether to commence proceedings.
The supervision activities carried out in spring showed that the majority of companies and people are caring and comply with the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus, so that life could continue as normally as possible in Estonia.
What are the possible penalties for violating the restrictions?
Violation of the quarantine requirements is punishable by a fine of up to 800 euros (section 461 of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act). Other violations of the order of the Government of the Republic are punishable by a fine of up to 400 euros (section 462 of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act).
How does the police decide, where to supervise whether people comply with the restrictions?
In cooperation with the Health Board, we analyse weekly where and how to carry out our monitoring activities more efficiently. We will certainly monitor the places where, according to the information we have received, there may be issues with compliance with the restrictions.
If I witness a violation, where should I report it?
Violations of restrictions must be reported by calling the emergency number 112.
How do you check compliance with restrictions at the border? Should people be prepared to show proof of vaccination or recovery?
We check all arrivals from third countries at the external borders. We check whether people have all the necessary grounds for entry, as well as whether they have completed the form for border-crossers and comply with the self-isolation requirement. Regarding individuals arriving from a red list country of the Schengen area (published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), we check on a random basis whether a person has completed the form for border-crossers and whether or not the person is required to restrict his/her freedom of movement after crossing the border. In addition, we check the documents that prove the person is not infectious.
Is the police going to check if people have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 at public events and places of entertainment?
At public events and places of entertainment, the police shall check whether the organiser has provided for the checking the certificates of infection safety or the opportunity of testing at the entrance. The organiser must ask to present a certificate of infection safety by all visitors who are obliged to do so.
What happens if the police identify a fake COVID certificate? Does the police even have the capacity to identify such fakes?
The police have the knowledge and skills to identify counterfeit COVID certificates, and we have already detected such forgeries. If a person uses a fake certificate, he or she will be prosecuted under section 345 of the Penal Code.
Read more about imposed restrictions at www.kriis.ee.