In October, more than half of the imported coronavirus cases came from Russia and Ukraine - on some weeks, the share of them reached 61 percent. For example, there were five cases from Finland in October.
Head of communications at the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), Britta Sepp, said that from October 1 to November 19, the Russian-Estonian border was crossed 20,489 times, during the same period, 1,414 Ukrainian citizens crossed the Estonian border.
Head of Tallinn's North Prefecture border crossing point Raavo Järva confirmed that it is still not possible to come directly to Estonia from Russia and Ukraine by plane. However, the land border crossing point can be crossed in certain cases. "In the cases outlined in the arrangement of the government - namely in the case of freight transport and for working. Everybody is checked, and things are controlled as to whether an individual falls under the specification or not," Järva said.
Adviser to the Epidemic Control Department at the Health Board Irina Dontšenko said that from the beginning of the pandemic, 126 cases have been associated with traveling to Russia, and 102 cases associated with traveling to Ukraine. "We have cases coming from Russia. And for example in the 45th week, from 66 cases, one fifth are related to traveling to Russia. There have been 20 cases registered from Ukraine."
Regarding workers and students, choosing between two countries is only required during an emergency situation. Currently, movement restrictions are established on people coming in from abroad. Dontšenko conceded that the measurements are not effective for all cases, however.
"At the moment, crossing the border is a little less strict. People coming in need to take a test at the border, stay in self-isolation, have to wait for the result of the test and can't go outside before the result. But unfortunately, the measurements are not always effective," Dontšenko said.
She added that the high number of imported coronavirus cases doesn't cause her much worry.
"The general background is that the percentage of the imported cases is decreasing. This means that, mostly, the spread is taking place locally, from which we have noted that this is an epidemic. Lately, there haven't been many outbreaks registered or seen from the cases imported from Russia."
Järva said that the regulations for crossing the border haven't been discussed. However, the restrictions are more strict than they were in summer.
"Maybe what's different compared with summer is that people didn't have to stay in self-isolation when coming from certain countries. Today, the situation is that we basically don't have a country that you can come from and not stay in self-isolation. Expect from Finland, Lithuania and Latvia," Järva commented.
Editor: Roberta Vaino