Government to discuss changing coronavirus self-isolation rules

The passenger terminal at Tallinn Airport.
The passenger terminal at Tallinn Airport. Source: Sander Koit/ERR

The government will discuss changing the coronavirus infection rate threshold for self-isolation next week, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Friday. He said the limit of 16 per 100,000, in place since June, is now out of date.

Kiik said an indicator which changes over time could be introduced which reflects the average level of infection.

Ideally, the isolation requirement would be agreed between the three Baltic states, he said, But without reaching a consensus, the target level should be changed by each country acting on its own.

"It should be based on a specific level, not a number that is constantly changing over time. The 16 per 100,000 inhabitants once agreed by the three Baltic states was based on the EU average at the beginning of June, which the EU set as a criterion for opening borders to third countries. In reality, it is no longer up to date today, it is no longer justified because none of the three Baltic countries has a lower infection rate than this," Kiik told ERR.

Currently, the average of the three Baltic States is approximately 40 - Latvia is lower at 19.5, while Estonia and Lithuania are much higher.

Kiik said he hoped discussions could continue on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has said he hopes the "Baltic bubble", established in May to allow freedom of movement without quarantine between the three countries, could be reestablished. The bubble burst last month after Lithuania and Estonia both exceeded the limit.  

Since June, people have been required to quarantine on arrival to Estonia if they travel from or through a country with an infection rate of 16 per 100,000 or more.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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