Swathe of travel and other restrictions lifted from Monday

Travellers at Tallinn Airport.
Travellers at Tallinn Airport. Source: Sander Koit / ERR

Monday, June 1 sees a slew of restrictions lifted as part of the state's coronavirus exit strategy. Areas affected include travel, entertainment and health care, with both national and local government making changes.

Travel restrictions lifted

From June 1 Estonia's borders are open to travelers from EU and EEA nations, without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, provided the countries of origin meet the benchmark of 15 or fewer COVID-19 infections recorded per 100,000 inhabitants, over the preceding 14-day period.

Visitors from countries with higher rates of infection within the EU, EEA and Schengen Zone will still be able to travel to Estonia, but will have to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

The development builds on the reestablishment of freedom of movement between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the so-called Baltic Bubble – in mid-May, and adds Finland to the list of quarantine-exempt nations, along with many others.

As rates of infection change, countries with no quarantine requirement can be added/removed from the list, but at the time of writing, visitors from the following countries can freely enter Estonia without a quarantine requirement:

  • Austria,
  • Bulgaria,
  • the Czech Republic,
  • Croatia,
  • Cyprus,
  • Denmark,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Greece,
  • Hungary,
  • Iceland,
  • Italy,
  • Latvia,
  • Liechtenstein,
  • Lithuania,
  • Luxembourg,
  • the Netherlands,
  • Norway,
  • Poland,
  • Romania,
  • Slovakia,
  • Slovenia, and 
  • Switzerland.

EU/EEA countries of origin which still have a quarantine requirement for entry to Estonia at the time of writing (with reported COVID-19 infection rates per 100,000) are:

  • Belgium (30.7),
  • Ireland (20.7),
  • Malta (21.3),
  • Portugal (32.1),
  • Spain (17.3),
  • Sweden (70.7),
  • the U.K. (53.8).

As noted above, despite being one of the worst-hit nations worldwide in the early stages of the pandemic, travelers from Italy, which now has a 14.3/100,000 coronavirus infection rate, can enter Estonia without undergoing quarantining, and the Netherlands (14.4/100,000) also scrapes in below the benchmark rate of 15 per 100,000 inhabitants.

For more detailed and up-to-date, official information visit the foreign ministry's website here.

Other travel changes from June 1

  • Latvian carrier AirBaltic commences flights to Paris from Tallinn Airport from June 1, with Vienna and Berlin following later in the week.
  • Ferry line Tallink is adding departures, and an additional vessel, on the Tallinn-Helsinki route from June 1.
  • Free travel on Tallinn public transport reverts to its pre-pandemic situation, meaning it is available only to residents and requires swiping the ubiquitous green card upon entering a bus, tram or trolleybus, with municipal police (MuPo) spot check inspections likely to return.

Other restrictions lifted from June 1

  • Bars and restaurants permitted to both remain open and sell alcoholic beverages after 10 p.m.
  • Kindergarten fees in Tallinn are reinstated. Kindergartens remained open throughout the crisis.
  • Public events of up to 100 participants permissible, to a maximum 50 percent audience/space occupancy.
  • Spectators allowed at outdoor sports events, again up to a maximum of 100.
  • Tallinn opening public beaches.
  • Indoor spaces at zoos and museums opened.
  • Visitors permitted to care homes, though whether and to what extent is up to the individual care homes themselves.
  • Ferry service between Tallinn port and the island of Aegna reopens.
  • Drive-in cinemas either closing or starting to wind-down, as cinemas can reopen, though not all will immediately.
  • Digital prescriptions issued in Estonia now valid for use in pharmacies in Finland.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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