Top Estonian athletes call for wearing masks


In Estonian Olympic Committee's social media channels, well-known and widely loved top Estonian athletes encourage the public to wear masks, download the local coronavirus contact tracking application HOIA and make sure their hands are clean in order to keep life in Estonia and the training facilities open.

The Estonian Health Board have issued recommendations encouraging the use of face masks in public places, particularly in areas where it is difficult to follow social distancing guidelines such as grocery stores and public transportation.   The aim of the recommendation is to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19, while allowing people to continue with their normal lives as much as possible.

The NOC video features such Olympic champions as track and field athletes Gerd Kanter and Erki Nool, speed skater Saskia Alusalu, fencers Irina Embrich, Erika Kirpu, Kristina Kuusk, and Katrina Lehis; hammer thrower Anna Maria Orel, weightlifter Mart Seim, freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru and bodybuilder Ott Kiivikas.

Kristjan Port, member of the NOC’s executive committee and professor of Sports Biology at Tallinn University, recommends people to wear face masks. “Studies have shown that the spread of the virus has clearly been slowed down in the countries where people wear masks. By behaving right, we can prevent the risk of infection, and, if you are choosing between wearing a mask and not wearing it, I strongly recommend you do. Next to washing your hands and keeping a safe distance from other people, this is a very cheap way to take care of yourself and everyone around you!” Port said.

Olympic fencer Erika Kirpu says that a face mask is an important piece of personal protective equipment. Kirpu points out that people in Estonia are facing an important choice. “Behaving right will help hold the virus back. If we can slow down the spread of the virus by making the right choice, there is hope to avoid stricter measures,” says Kirpu, who lives in Italy.