Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Tuesday the coronavirus self-isolation period will be shortened from 14 days to 10 for close contacts and foreign arrivals allowing people to return to work faster.
The agreement has been reached in principle, Kiik told ERR. He said the official government order will come on Thursday and the new rules will probably enter into force on Monday, November 2.
"From now on, it will be possible to choose between two tests or 10 days of self-isolation when you come from abroad. And there is also an alternative for those who have been declared a close contact. If they do not have symptoms, then they can do a test on the 10th day and if they test negative, then their period of self-isolation can end," Kiik said.
He said this new system will give people the opportunity to return to work faster.
Speaking about Lithuania's high infection rate, Kiik said that the exceptional rules introduced for the Baltic states and Finland have not increased the risk of infection and there is no need to change them.
Kiik said that in three weeks 160 cases of coronavirus have been brought to Estonia from abroad, only two of them from Lithuania. Three cases have been reported from Finland and none from Latvia.
Lithuania has seen a spike in cases of coronavirus in recent weeks and 766 new cases were registered on Monday.
Since October 19, travelers from Finland, Latvia and Lithuania have been able to skip quarantine if they test negative for covid-19 within 48 hours of arrival in five cases: they are coming to Estonia to work, study, visit a health care institution, in the case of unavoidable family events or for the purpose of transit. They must not have been outside the Baltic states of Finland during the previous 14 days.
Editor: Helen Wright