We are representing Mustamäe Elamus SPA in a dispute with the Government of the Republic of Estonia.

The dispute was caused by COVID-19 restrictions, which constrained spa owners’ entrepreneurial freedom. Mustamäe Elamus SPA is now pursuing the annulment of Government Order 232. Andres Tiik, CEO of Elamus SPA, says that the company has entered into the dispute in order to create legal clarity regarding the proportionality of the restrictions and regarding the argumentation behind implementing these restrictions.

“It’s no secret that entrepreneurs in the tourism sector have suffered the most during the pandemic; however, there have been different experiences within the sector. For instance, with the – to put it mildly – creative imposing of restrictions on spas, our company has been among those who have suffered the most. While hotels and restaurants have had the chance to work and earn income to some extent, Mustamäe Elamus SPA has been closed for the longest time compared with other establishments in Estonia, due to government restrictions and other regulations. At the same time, hotels and restaurants received financial aid worth up to EUR 180,000, for which Mustamäe Elamus SPA didn’t qualify, even though we have contributed more in taxes than the average hotel or restaurant. So it’s money in one sense, but in another, it’s how emotional decisions are based on weak scientific evidence, which has brought us into this dispute,” Tiik said.

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Mustamäe Elamus SPA is being represented by our dispute resolution experts, partner Allar Jõks and associate Gerli Helene Gritsenko.

According to Allar Jõks, the government has imposed restrictions that are against the law, without considering important aspects. “For every restriction that the government imposes, there must be an alleviating or compensating measure. Unfortunately, so far the government hasn’t created aid measures to compensate for the costs of closing spas. We have lodged an appeal so that in future the government won’t impose restrictions on spas based on a gut feeling. I hope that this appeal from Mustamäe Elamus SPA encourages other entrepreneurs to stand up for their rights,” Jõks added.

You can find more information in Ärileht (in Estonian).