Government to confirm new covid testing rules for arrivals on Tuesday

Border crossing point at Estonian-Latvian border.
Border crossing point at Estonian-Latvian border. Source: Verner Vilgas/ERR

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said that starting January 15, travelers from Finland and Latvia must also show a negative COVID-19 test when entering Estonia and those crossing the land borders can also take a test on arrival. Details of the regulation will be confirmed next Tuesday.

On Thursday, ERR News wrote that Urmas Reinsalu said that a negative coronavirus test must be presented on arrival to Estonia - or a test taken upon arrival - from January 15. A person who arrives with a valid negative test, or tests negative on arrival, must still quarantine until a second test has been taken with a negative result.

Reinsalu said Friday that testing restrictions will still be valid on the same basis as quarantine requirements have been. "For the people who are cross-border workers or those who are not under the quarantine requirement, they will also not have to take the tests," he said. Transit workers mainly make up that group of people.

People returning from tourism and vacations must still show a negative test. A test must be taken either upon arrival in Estonia or at least 72 hours prior to traveling to Estonia.

"The details will be confirmed at Tuesday's sitting, they will be valid from Friday. The exemptions valid now will stay in force from then as well," Reinsalu said.

The negative test requirement will in principle be extended to everyone traveling, as it is for people arriving from the U.K. already.

"For people entering over the land borders, it is easier to take a test in the country you enter from, Latvia for example. Of course, it is possible to take the test in public testing locations in many Estonian cities. In the big picture, we should have testing capabilities in county cities as well," Reinsalu added.

This would mean that a Tallinn resident arriving from Latvia by car can take a coronavirus test when arriving in Tallinn. If the person has given a negative test before entering Estonia, they can fulfill their work tasks for seven days, but must take another test then. Otherwise they are subject to two weeks of isolation.

Reinsalu said there are no specific risk countries and the regulation is valid for travel from all countries.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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