Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) issued a call on social media for Estonian nationals to return from travel abroad as soon as possible, as several countries have begun partially or fully shutting down international air traffic in their territory, several countries can no longer be used as transit countries due to entry restrictions on the ground, and there is a very strong likelihood that these restrictions will expand further in the days to come.
"Thus I am urging people who are abroad for a short term to return to Estonia as quickly as possible, as due to restrictions in other countries, this will become increasingly difficult as time goes on," Reinsalu said, also advising people not to travel beyond Estonia unless truly necessary, as travel facilitates the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"Do not invite citizens of other countries to come here for a visit," he continued. "Let's ask citizens of other countries to stay home. This is safer both for them and for us."
The minister said that countries continue to impose entry prohibitions or quarantines in real time for citizens of other countries, including Estonia. The Foreign Ministry is providing information regarding this matter on its homepage, but this information may not always be up to date or complete, as in many cases, the ministry either receives information from other countries via official channels ex-post or doesn't receive any information at all.
Reinsalu also reiterated a warning that the obligation to self-isolate for 14 days applies in Estonia both to Estonians as well as foreigners arriving from a number of other countries. The list of at-risk countries is endorsed on a daily basis by the prime minister as the person in charge of the emergency situation currently in force in Estonia, and according to the foreign minister, new countries are likely to be added to this list every day.
As of Friday, the list of at-risk countries includes China, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Egypt.
Editor: Aili Vahtla