Government confirms decision to reintroduce temporary border controls ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Boundary post indicating the Estonian border.
Boundary post indicating the Estonian border. Source: (PPA)

The Government agreed at Sunday's e-session to reintroduce temporary border control at the Schengen internal border and surveillance at the national borders from Tuesday, March 17. The new measures only allow Estonians or residence permit holders to enter the country.

The corresponding arrangement was also confirmed, which establishes procedures for crossing national borders at the time of restrictions.

Only Estonian citizens and Estonian residents with a residence permit or a right of residence will be able to enter Estonia in the foreseeable future, including the holders of so-called grey passports.

A foreign national who has no symptoms of the disease and whose close relative is an Estonian citizen or a person with a right of residence is allowed to enter the country under special police authorisation.

Foreigners needing to enter Estonia for international military cooperation will also be granted entry.

International transportation of goods, including for food and medical goods, are permitted to enter Estonia. Additional access will be granted for people who provide vital services, such as fuel suppliers.

Entry to Estonia is allowed for foreign nationals who need to travel through Estonia in transit in order to reach their country of residence, provided they have no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

Inspection of the travel documents and the disease symptoms will be checked at the border. No exit restrictions have been imposed.

The temporary restriction on crossing the national borders will apply for as long as necessary, and the measures will be assessed every two weeks.

The government announced additional border control measures would be introduced early Saturday morning but they needed to be agreed at Sunday's e-session.

The measures will be introduced to try and contain the spread of the coronavirus. As of Sunday evening, there are 171 cases of the disease in the country.

If Estonian residents have problems returning home from abroad, call the consular emergency phone +372 53 01 9999 (24).

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Editor: Helen Wright

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