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Ministry recommends reconsidering travel to Germany, France

Tallinn Airport.
Tallinn Airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

As a result of the further spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is recommending seriously considering whether any planned travel to France or Germany is necessary. The ministry also recommends anyone currently in Italy to contact their travel agents to determine what options they have for leaving the country, whose protection zone now covers the entire country.

"People need to contact their travel agency and find out what options they have to leave the country," Tiina Kallasmaa, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department, told ERR.

If someone is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), she continued, it is vital that they contact a local health facility to help determine whether they may actually have coronavirus disease or whether it could just be the common cold.

"From there, you will be receive a treatment plan and decisions regarding what to do next accordingly," she added.

"We have been informed of the travel of 89 people, and as of today they are still in Italy," Kallasmaa noted. She encouraged everyone to inform the Foreign Ministry of any foreign travel, to ensure that the ministry can forward relevant information and guidelines for what to do in at-risk areas.

France and Germany

As the virus continues to spread, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking people to seriously consider whether any planned foreign travel, particularly to France or Germany, is necessary.

"Until now we had cited specific regions in both countries, but we see by now that the infection has spread throughout both countries, and as a result we are asking everyone to seriously consider whether any trips are necessary," Kallasmaa explained.

Early Tuesday morning, two adult Tallinn residents who had returned to Estonia from Northern Italy and France had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. A total of 12 cases of coronavirus disease have been diagnosed in Estonia thus far.

As of noon Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' homepage has listed China, Italy, Iran and South Korea as at-risk areas for the virus. The ministry also recommends avoiding travel to Japan, Singapore, the Alsace region of France, and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Protection zone enlarged nationwide across Italy

As of Tuesday, 10 March, the protection zone in Italy has been expanded to cover the entire territory of the country, the foreign ministry said Tuesday afternoon.

Exiting Italy is organised through designated checkpoints and tourists are allowed to leave the country for the purpose of returning home. However, the ministry recommends individuals assess their condition and that of family members. Those with a fever exceeding 37.5 ˚C should remain at home or in their accommodation, and call the emergency service number (112 across Europe) for treatment.

The Foreign Ministry asks people remaining in at-risk areas to follow the instructions of local authorities, and recommends citizens contact their travel agents and airlines to return home.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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