Arrivals from Iceland do not need to quarantine, UK arrivals must test ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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

Arrivals from Iceland are allowed to skip the self-isolation period on arrival to Estonia, while 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, the foreign ministry said Friday.

From Monday, January 11, there are no movement restrictions for arrivals in Estonia from EU, EEA and Schengen Zone countries with a 14-day coronavirus rate less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday. In practice, this only applies to arrivals from Iceland, the only country with a reported rate lower than 50 per 100,000, for the third week in a row.

The list of countries, with those whose arrivals must self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Estonia in bold, along with their reported 14-day COVID-19 rate, is as follows:

    • Andorra 807.3
    • Austria 320.0
    • Belgium 174.1
    • Bulgaria 169.4
    • Croatia 422.7
    • Czech Republic 1119.2
    • Cyprus 717.7
    • Denmark 590.4
    • Finland 68.1*
    • France 272.1
    • Germany 319.0
    • Greece 84.2
    • Hungary 242.7
    • Iceland 31.8
    • Ireland 455.6
    • Italy 355.1
    • Latvia 601.9*
    • Liechtenstein 1024.0
    • Lithuania 1199.3*
    • Luxembourg 464.6
    • Malta 277.2
    • Monaco 541.0
    • Netherlands 759.7
    • Norway 149.0
    • Poland 316.7
    • Portugal 517.0
    • Romania 253.1
    • San Marino 1120.4
    • Slovakia 674.5
    • Slovenia 959.1
    • Spain 297.4
    • Sweden 785.1
    • Switzerland 848.1
    • United Kingdom 922.2***
    • 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 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.

Arrivals in the UK must return a negative on COVID-19 test, quarantine is 14 days

As of January 1 2021, the Government of the Republic introduced an additional obligation for those arriving from the United Kingdom in Estonia to perform a COVID-19 test up to 72 hours (three days) before arriving in Estonia, the result of which must be negative. Arrivals must quarantine for 14 days rather than the 10 days for other European nations' arrivals, though the period of self-isolation may be shortened if, in addition to a negative result from the first test, the result of the repeat test carried out on the seventh day following arrival is also negative. For more information see here.

This rule also applies if the U.K. has been a transit country.  Children under 10 years of age are exempt from the requirement to take a test.  

The infection rate limit on which the implementation of Estonian travel restrictions is based is reviewed once a week on Fridays and the new restrictions come into force the following Monday. 

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: Andrew Whyte

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