Ministry doubles down on child COVID-19 travel quarantine rule
The Ministry of Education and Research will not withdraw the requirement that minors arriving from high-risk countries have to stay in isolation for two weeks, even if they test negative for COVID-19. The decision was made in principle to not encourage traveling towards the end of the school holidays, and ahead of the new school year which started September 1.
"From September 1, those arriving in Estonia from COVID-19-risk countries can be tested for coronavirus at the border in order to shorten the isolation obligation and return to work. The idea of testing at the border is to enable the necessary labor migration. However, children who have come from countries at risk must remain in isolation for 14 days and can't go to school," the ministry said in a comment.
Adults arriving in Estonia by air or sea can opt out of 14-days' quarantine by taking a COVID-19 test immediately upon arrival (provided by private sector companies, free-of-charge to residents). Returning negative (individuals still have to quarantine at their place of stay while awaiting the results, which can arrive in a matter of hours via text) allows people to leave home for essential work purposes; testing negative a second time within seven days completely frees the individual of quarantine requirements.
The Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) definition of what a 14-day quarantine period is and what the rules are, is:
"A person may not leave his or her place of residence within 14 days, except on the instructions of a healthcare professional or a police officer, or for unavoidable reasons."
"For instance, you may leave home if your life is in danger or you need medical attention, to renew your food supplies, purchase essentials or medicines. In all these cases, you must avoid contact with other people."
"Therefore, you must not go to work or too crowded hiking trails. However, you can, for instance, go running or cycling if you do so without coming into contact with others."
For more information visit the Police and Border Guard Board's website.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte