Bulgaria, Hungary, Liechtenstein and Poland have joined the list of whose arrivals in Estonia do not need to self-isolate, while Slovakia, on the quarantine-free list this past week, now has a coronavirus rate beyond the quarantine-free threshold.
Arrivals from a total of 14 European countries do not need to self-isolate - all these countries have reported 14-day COVID-19 rates below the benchmark which would require quarantine on arrival in Estonia.
The restriction on the freedom of movement does not apply to passengers arriving from a country with an infection rate below 150 per 100 000 inhabitants in the past 14 days: Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, and the United Kingdom.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against any non-essential international travel.
Estonia's own 14-day coronavirus rate stood at 276.7 per 100,000 as of Friday, May 21. The previous travel restrictions regime, valid until Sunday, May 23 inclusive is here.
Arrivals from the remaining European nations (EU/EEA/Schengen Zone) still have a 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement when entering Estonia, meaning from May 24 to May 30 2021, the restriction on the freedom of movement applies to passengers arriving from all the countries in bold listed below, together with the 14-day COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 inhabitants, as reported by Estonia's foreign ministry on Friday, May 21.
- Andorra 282.2
- Austria 165.5
- Belgium 308.3
- Bulgaria 129.4
- Croatia 369.2
- Czech Republic 172.8
- Cyprus 521.8
- Denmark 234.7
- Finland 52.6
- France 335.0
- Germany 207.9
- Greece 286.1
- Hungary 148.0
- Iceland 17.9
- Ireland 101.4
- Italy 191.7
- Latvia 431.3*
- Liechtenstein 113.6
- Lithuania 562.8
- Luxembourg 260.5
- Malta 25.3
- Monaco 108.8
- Netherlands 483.1
- Norway 107.9
- Poland 130.2
- Portugal 47.8
- Romania 72.2
- San Marino 58.1
- Slovakia 164.5
- Slovenia 359.8
- Spain 159.4
- Sweden 577.5
- Switzerland 211.0 260.1
- United Kingdom 44.9
- Vatican 0.0**
* From Monday May 3, restrictions on cross-border travel between Estonia and Latvia have been eased (see below).
**While the Vatican's infection rate stands at 0.0, those traveling to Estonia from there via Italy will still be subject to the 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement.
From May 3, travel restrictions on Estonia-Latvia border were eased
With its order April 30, the Estonian government has eased the restrictions on cross-border movement for asymptomatic individuals who cross the state border between Estonia and Latvia at least twice a week for unavoidable work or studies
More details are here.
The restriction on the freedom of movement also does not apply if an individual living in the administrative territory of Valga in Estonia or Valka in Latvia crosses the national border between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia without leaving the administrative territories of Valga or Valka.
Arrivals at the Estonian-Latvian border must present proof of employment (such as a letter from their employer) and a certificate proving a negative test result or vaccination/recovery.
Digital vaccine certification
From Friday April 30, recipients of coronavirus vaccines can self-generate their own digital certificate, which can also be authenticated using its accompanying Quick Response (QR) code.
The certificate, also known as a vaccine passport, will also dovetail into the EU's own Digital Green Passport (green referring to green-to-go as regards being clear of coronavirus, not relating to the environment – ed.), once that system – approved Thursday by the European Parliament – is rolled out.
Travel declarations can now be submitted online.
Before arriving in Estonia, you must fill out a traveller's questionnaire.
The questionnaire can be completed within three days of arrival in Estonia, and, the foreign ministry says, makes border-crossing smoother and cuts out the need for waiting in line when filling out a questionnaire on paper.
A border guard or airline representative is permitted to ask people crossing the border to present an electronic or printed border crossing confirmation sent via email.
Passenger travel declarations can now be submitted online.
Arrivals in in Estonia at the main points of entry can now submit their cross-border traveler's declaration information electronically, cutting down waiting time at Tallinn Airport or the Port of Tallinn.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travel in all but essential circumstances. On returning to Estonia two tests should be taken six days apart.
Arrivals from EU member states and the United Kingdom
Individuals entering Estonia with an infection rate above 150 can enter the country in order to perform urgent duties if they produce a certificate confirming a negative result of a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.
Individuals can take the test on entry when arriving in Estonia; however, they must then self-isolate until they get their test result.
When not performing urgent duties, it is mandatory to remain in limited self-isolation. The individual can also return to the country from which they arrived in Estonia on the condition that they have taken a test within 72 hours of their departure from Estonia, and the result is negative.
Arrivals from third countries
It is possible to travel to Estonia from Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Rwanda, Singapore without quarantining on arrival.
A 10-day period of restrictions on movement is mandatory for passengers arriving from countries with an infection rate above 16 people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days, which applies to arrivals from South Korea and Thailand.
The restriction on the freedom of movement can be shortened by taking two tests.
Testing rules and quarantine for all arrivals
The following rules apply to reducing the period of restrictions on movement for all arrivals except for third country nationals arriving in Estonia for work or studies.
(1) Anyone unwilling to self-isolate for 10 days after their arrival in Estonia can take a PCR test abroad no earlier than 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia. A second test can then be taken in Estonia no earlier than the sixth day after the test. The 10-day restrictions quarantine period can be ended if both tests are negative.
(2) Anyone who has not taken a test up to 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia can take one on arrival and the second test no earlier than six days after their first test. The 10-day restrictions quarantine period can be ended if both tests are negative.
Information about the conditions that apply to the test certificate is available HERE. For booking a second test, passengers can contact the call centre for public testing (678 0000).
Details about testing are available of the website https://koroonatestimine.ee/en/for-patients/testing-after-a-trip-abroad/.
After the first negative test, the individual can:
• perform urgent and inevitable duties;
• attend an urgent family occasion;
• return to the country from where they entered Estonia if the reason for traveling is inevitable duties, studies or family occasion.
The 10-days restrictions on movement and COVID-19 testing are not mandatory for individuals (both when arriving from Europe and other regions), who:
(1) have suffered from COVID-19 and no more than six months have passed since they have been declared cured;
(2) have undergone COVID-19 vaccination and no more than six months have passed since its completion.
(3) who are employees of a diplomatic mission or a consular post of a foreign country or the Republic of Estonia or their family members or holders of an Estonian diplomatic passport;
(4) who arrive in the Republic of Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation;
(5) who are members of foreign delegations arriving in the Republic of Estonia for the performance of duties on the invitation of a state or local authority;
(6) who are directly involved in transporting goods and raw products, including loading of goods or raw products, and who arrive in Estonia for the performance of duties;
(7) who arrive in Estonia for the purpose of providing health services or other services necessary for responding to an emergency;
(8) who are directly involved in international carriage of goods and passengers, including a crew member and a ship's crew member servicing an international means of transport and a person performing repairs or warranty or maintenance work on such a means of transport, and who arrive in Estonia for the performance of duties;
(9) whose purpose for arriving in the Republic of Estonia is directly related to the provision of passenger transport services and who are servicing travel groups;
(10) whose purpose for arriving in the Republic of Estonia is related to ensuring the continuity of a vital service;
(11) who are using the territory of the Republic of Estonia for immediate transit.
When returning from a trip, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends taking a COVID-19 test even when you are not taking two tests to shorten the period of restriction on the freedom of movement and prefer to restrict your freedom of movement for 10 days. We also recommend restricting your movement and monitor your health for a few days after travelling even if you have recovered from COVID-19 and have completed a vaccination programme.
When arriving in Estonia from a country not included in Annex 1 of the recommendation of the Council of the European Union, the 10-day restriction on the freedom of movement applies to those who are allowed to enter Estonia. The restriction on the freedom of movement can be shortened by two tests. If a citizen of these countries, who has a legal basis to stay in Estonia, repeatedly crosses the state border, he or she must take both tests in Estonia.
In cases where travelling is essential, the Foreign Ministry advises keeping the following in mind:
- Before planning your trip, please consult the Foreign Ministry's website for the infection rate in your planned country of destination;
- For information about restrictions in your destination, please consult the Reisi Targalt website (in Estonian), the ReOpen portal of the European Union, or contact the representation of the country for more details;
- Register your trip at the Foreign Ministry's Reisi Targalt website (in Estonian) to allow us to notify you of possible travel restrictions;
- Follow the recommendations of the Estonian Health Board for a safe flight; 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);
- When crossing the border, you must fill out a questionnaire, which can be done electronically. The questionnaire can be completed within three days of your arrival in Estonia here. Make sure to keep the confirmation email you will receive after you have completed the form. The questionnaire can still be filled out on paper; it is available here;
- 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, and if you suspect you have been infected with the virus, contact your GP.
Call the national helpline 1247 (+372 600 1247 when calling from abroad) for additional information on the coronavirus and restrictions on the freedom of movement.
Editor: Andrew Whyte