Restrictions: Icelanders can skip quarantine, UK arrivals need covid test

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Coronavirus testing starts at Tallinn Airport. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Arrivals from Iceland are allowed to skip the self-isolation period on arrival to Estonia from January 4. From December 30, travelers from the UK - or those who transit through the UK - must present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival or be tested at the airport.

Starting from Monday, the mandatory self-isolation does not apply to passengers arriving in Estonia from a country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, the Schengen area and a country included on the common list of the EU with an infection rate below 50 persons per 100 000 inhabitants.

The 10-day restriction applies to people arriving in Estonia from the following European countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland*, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Liechtenstein, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The infection rate of the Vatican is 0 but anyone travelling to Estonia from there through Italy is subject to the 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement.

The restriction does not apply to passengers arriving from Iceland and they are not required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival. Exceptions also apply for travelers from Finland, Latvia and Lithuania.

24 hours before arrival, travelers can fill out an online passenger declation form, if not, this must be done by hand at arrivals.

From September 1, passengers returning to Estonia from countries with a high-risk of COVID-19 can shorten the mandatory self-isolation and return to work by testing for COVID-19 at the airport and port. Additional information about testing is available on the website of the Health Board and the coronavirus testing website.

More information about entering Estonia can be read here.

New restrictions for travelers from the United Kingdom

On Wednesday, the Government agreed travelers arriving from the UK will need to present a negative COVID-19 test carried out no later than 72 hours before arrival. If this is not possible, then UK arrivals must be tested on arrival. For arrivals from other counties, this is only voluntary. No test is required from children under 10 years of age.

These regulations also apply to passengers transiting through the United Kingdom on their way to Estonia.

Passengers coming from the United Kingdom must still self-isolate for 14 days after the arrival. The 14-day self-isolation period may be shortened if the person takes another test on the seventh day after arrival and if both tests are negative.

The end of the transition period of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union also affects travel. 

Restrictions on arrivals from third countries

Since October 22, it has been possible to travel to Estonia from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

Passengers arriving from South Korea and Japan are subject to a 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement.

Anyone who transfers through a European airport with a coronavirus rate above the threshold to get to Estonia also needs to quarantine.

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: Helen Wright

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