Reinsalu asks citizens of coronavirus risk countries to not visit Estonia

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: ERR

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has appealed for citizens of countries in coronavirus at-risk zones to not travel to Estonia.

"The government is not hesitating to take all proportionate measures necessary to further eradicate this virus from our country's borders and prevent it from spreading within Estonia," Reinsalu said Thursday morning.

Quarantine for people from countries where the coronavirus is much more widespread could also be on the table in Estonia, he said. 

"In my opinion, it is responsible now to say that we are requesting citizens of countries with widespread transmission of the virus not to come to Estonia. They could also expect quarantine," he said.

This also applies to foreign relations, which should be kept to a minimum. A meeting of the foreign ministers from the Baltic States and Germany scheduled for next week is now to be held remotely via video link, and a visit from the French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Montchalin to Estonia has also been postponed, he said.

Commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to suspend flights to European countries, Reinsalu noted that this did not affect U.S. residents or American citizens, and their close relatives, so far as Estonia was concerned.

"There is no restriction on the entry of these people into the U.S. There is also no question mark hanging over the presence of people who are here permanently, nor will they be forced to leave the country," Reinsalu noted

"I is very important that the private sector, the public, the government agencies, be able now to make all these decisions together and to understand the implications of these decisions in the short term, that they should apply and that they are necessary to prevent this virus from spreading further. The situation is changing by the hour and the government has the capacity to impose its own rules in this new situation," Reinsalu went on.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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