The rising number of coronavirus cases across Europe has caused reductions in direct flight schedules from Tallinn. From Monday and for the rest of this week, direct flights to 12 destinations, in nine countries, are available from Tallinn Airport.
Starting from Monday, August 24, direct links between Tallinn and Berlin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Milan, Minsk, Oslo, Paphos (Cyprus), Riga and Vilnius are available.
When arriving from the U.K., Minsk and Cyprus, passengers must undergo a two-week self-isolation period.
"This week we saw for the first time since April that people are struggling to get back home," Eero Pärgmäe, Commercial Manager of Tallinn Airport, said via a press release.
"The current flight limiting system was worked out in May when the situation in Estonia and Tallinn was different than it is today. When the restrictions are set to five countries out of 25, it is possible to book people on other flights, but when 19 countries are under different restrictions, it is much harder to travel across borders," he added.
According to Pärgmäe, in the current situation, a sustainable perspective for cross-border traveling is needed for the coming year. Direct connections are essential for the operation of economies, and it is much easier to check people arriving via direct flights than via connecting flights, he added.
"As flight schedules are currently being changed every week, it is also very important that people rethink their travel plans, avoid traveling to high-risk countries, and contact their airline immediately after a flight cancellation, be it a direct flight or through a connecting flight," Pärgmäe said.
Where the risk of being trapped in a foreign country, the airport also recommends contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who can help arrange a return trip.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has set a ceiling of 25 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants of a country of destination, beyond which direct flights are canceled. This is different from the foreign ministry's limit of 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants recorded in the preceding two weeks, beyond which people arriving in Estonia must self-quarantine for 14 days. This means that while direct flights are open to the U.K., Belarus and Cyprus, arrivals from those countries must quarantine.
An alternative scheme allows for those traveling for essential work purposes to circumvent quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival in Estonia, followed by a second negative result within seven days.
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte