Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu thanked France for arranging an Estonian citizen to be brought to France from the Hubei province, where it is though the new coronavirus originated.
A chartered plane on February 1 brought 199 citizens of 17 EU member states back to Europe. Coordinated by France, citizens of the European Union member states, including one Estonian citizen, were brought back from the Hubei province.
As a precaution, the Estonian citizen will remain under observation in France for 14 days, although, as of now, the French medics have declared the citizen healthy.
"I would like to thank the French state for its assistance and solidarity in helping an Estonian citizen. It is an excellent example of efficient cooperation between European Union countries," Reinsalu said.
The foreign ministry continues to advise against travelling to Hubei province in China where the spread of the coronavirus began. "When travelling elsewhere in China, we ask you to continue to take note of the extensive restrictions on movement, which can change very quickly," the foreign minister said.
"We strongly advise anyone in China or planning to travel there to pay close attention to the quickly changing situation," Reinsalu said. "It is necessary to be prepared for unexpected developments, including stricter health checks on borders, and preventive measures, such as quarantine, as well as sudden traffic restrictions," he emphasised.
The Foreign Ministry's information said the total number of Estonian citizens currently in China includes 19 short stay visitors and 78 permanent residents.
The minister said the Estonian Embassy in Beijing would continue to operate as of now but it has stopped issuing tourist visas to Estonia. No further requests from Estonian citizens have been received for leaving China or for assistance from the Foreign Ministry or the embassy for that purpose.
The Foreign Ministry strongly advises anyone travelling to China to register their trip on the Foreign Ministry website reisitargalt.vm.ee to receive alerts and directions for further actions. In case of an emergency, you can call the 24-h helpline +372 5301 9999.
Additional information can be found here.
Editor: Helen Wright