Icelandic arrivals in Estonia remain only Europeans not needing quarantine

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Ferries at Tallinn's harbor. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

From Monday, December 28, Iceland is the only European country whose arrivals in Estonia do not need to self-quarantine. Arrivals in Estonia from all other European Union/European Economic Area and Schengen Zone countries need to isolate for ten days.

The 10-day isolation requirement is applied to arrivals from all European countries with a 14-day coronavirus infection rate of 50 or more individuals per 100,000 inhabitants in that country.

The list of countries, with their recent 14-day coronavirus rate as reported by the foreign ministry, is as follows, with countries whose arrivals must self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Estonia in bold.

    • Andorra 691.8
    • Austria 397.9
    • Belgium 299.3
    • Bulgaria 425.3
    • Croatia 1113.2
    • Czech Republic 757.7
    • Cyprus 597.9
    • Denmark 754.9
    • Finland 100.2 *
    • France 269.9
    • Germany 393.9
    • Greece 145.5
    • Hungary 521.7
    • Iceland 44.8
    • Ireland 108.9
    • Italy 371.6
    • Latvia 501.4 *
    • Liechtenstein 617.5
    • Lithuania  1376.1*
    • Luxembourg 1039.8
    • Malta 241.9
    • Monaco 272.0
    • Netherlands 765.8
    • Norway 101.4
    • Poland 366.7
    • Portugal 502.6
    • Romania 400.3
    • San Marino 923.0
    • Slovakia 634.9
    • Slovenia 965.6
    • Spain 249.1
    • Sweden 878.4
    • Switzerland 516.0
    • United Kingdom 475.5 ***
    • Vatican 0.0** 

*Based on Order No 282 of the Government of Estonia, the restriction on the freedom of movement does not apply to asymptomatic people who have been on the territory of Lithuania, Latvia or Finland in the past 14 days and have arrived in Estonia directly from Lithuania, Latvia or Finland with the following preconditions:

(1) The individual has taken a coronavirus test within 48 hours before their arrival in Estonia and the result is negative. When traveling to these countries from Estonia and returning to Estonia, it is possible to take the coronavirus test in Estonia, and return to normal life, i.e. without any quarantine requirement, in the case of a negative result. Individuals must remain in quarantine while awaiting COVID-19 test results.

(2) The individual arrives in Estonia for the purpose of working, studying or receiving health services, for family reasons or transit. When traveling to Estonia for these reasons listed above, it is not mandatory or required to take a coronavirus test before arriving in the country.

**While the coronavirus infection rate at the Vatican City State is 0 per 100,000 at present, those transiting via Italy when traveling to Estonia will still be subject to the 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement.

***The Government of Estonia decided on December 23 to apply additional self-isolation requirements for passengers arriving from the U.K. (see below).

This means according to current infection rates, only arrivals from Iceland in Estonia are not required to quarantine or take a coronavirus test from Monday, from among European countries.

Travel restrictions valid in Estonia are reviewed on a weekly basis on Fridays, with any changes coming into force the following Monday. 

Since September 1, passengers returning to Estonia from COVID-19 high-risk countries can shorten their mandatory self-isolation period and return to work by testing for COVID-19 at the airport and port of entry,

Additional travel restrictions and other countries' assessment of Estonia 

The Government of Estonia decided on December 23 to apply additional self-isolation requirements for passengers arriving from the U.K.

In addition to barring direct flights between the two countries with immediate effect, from Monday, 28 December, the required self-isolation period for arrivals from the U.K. will be extended to 14 days.

Passengers arriving from the U.K. must self-isolate for seven days if passing negative on a COVID-19 test on arrival, and then take a second test. Should this second test return negative, the individual no longer needs to be in isolation.

Germany is applying additional restrictions from December which will be applied to arrivals from Estonia, which has been placed on a risk-area list.

All arrivals entering Germany from a risk area or returning to Germany from abroad after having been in a risk area within the preceding ten days before entry must isolate 10 days immediately after entry.

In addition, persons entering Germany must register before their arrival here and provide proof of registration on entry. Those who need to travel to Germany for urgent matters should find the latest travel advisory (link in German) here.

On December 17, the Council of the European Union reviewed the list of third countries included in Annex 1 of its recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.*

According to the list, travel to Estonia from Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay is viable.

Passengers arriving from Japan and South Korea will be subject to a 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement. Anyone arriving from the remaining countries listed by the Council are not required to restrict their movement.

*The press release on the reviewed list of countries included in Annex 1 of the recommendation of the Council of the European Union is available here.

What does quarantine mean?

This means that within 14 calendar days of their arrival in Estonia, people must refrain from unnecessary contacts and can leave their place of residence or permanent accommodation only for seeing a doctor and shopping for food, essentials and medicines, or in emergencies.

Who is required to restrict their freedom of movement?

All symptomatic Estonian citizens and residents arriving in Estonia.

Passengers arriving from countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Schengen area who began their trip from a country belonging to this region or transited a country of this region, based on the infection rate: 

The mandatory self-isolation does not apply to passengers arriving in Estonia from a country with an infection rate below 25 per 100,000 inhabitants;

  • If the infection rate of the country is between 25 and 50, the need to self-isolate depends on whether the infection rate is below or above the rate of Estonia times 1.1;
  • If the infection rate is below that of Estonia, the person is not required to self-isolate;
  • If it is above the infection rate of Estonia, a two-week mandatory self-isolation applies.

Foreign ministry: Essential travel only

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against any non-essential international travel.

In cases where travelling is essential, the Foreign Ministry advises keeping the following in mind:

  • Before planning your trip, please consult the Foreign Ministry website for the infection rate in your planned country of destination.
  • Stay up to date with possible travel restrictions in your destination – please consult the Reisi Targalt website (link in Estonian), the EU's ReOpen portal, and, if necessary, contact the foreign mission of the country of destination for details.
  • Register your trip at the Foreign Ministry's Reisi Targalt website to allow us to notify you of possible travel restrictions.
  • Follow the recommendations of the Estonian Health Board for a safe flight to protect your health an that of others – if you show symptoms, please postpone your trip and contact your GP.
  • Take out travel insurance and carefully read the conditions of your insurance (including for travel interruptions caused by COVID-19).
  • At your destination, follow the instructions of local authorities and keep up to date with possible new restrictions.
  • On your return, follow the rules introduced in Estonia, monitor your health, and if you suspect you have been infected with the virus, contact your GP.
  • The foreign ministry stresses that countries can change their conditions for entry and stay at short notice. For more detailed information on the conditions of the destination country, we recommend contacting the representation or the relevant authorities of the country.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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