20 Euro states' arrivals quarantine-free versus 14 who must still isolate

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Plane ready for embarkation at Tallinn Airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

For the first time this year so far, more European states are on the 'green' list – whose arrivals in Estonia do not need to quarantine – than are on the list of those whose arrivals must undergo a ten-day period of self-isolation once on Estonian soil. The new regime is in place from Monday, May 31.

Arrivals from 20 countries do not need to quarantine when arriving in Estonia, starting Monday, up from 14 announced by the foreign ministry last week. The new additions are Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Spain, whose 14-day coronavirus rate per 100,000 inhabitants are currently below the threshold of 150, beyond which mandatory quarantine would be triggered.

These six states join Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, and the U.K, whose arrivals the foreign ministry declared quarantine-free a week ago.

No states dropped off last week's quarantine-free list.

Estonia's own 14-day coronavirus rate stood at 200.00 per 100,000 as of Friday, May 28, down from 276.7 a week earlier.

Arrivals from 14 European nations will still need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Estonia. They are: Andorra, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.

The previous travel restrictions regime, valid until Sunday, May 30 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 31 to June 6 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 28. 

  • Andorra 244.17
  • Austria 115.77
  • Belgium 268.88
  • Bulgaria  92.7
  • Croatia 229.49
  • Czech Republic 118.24
  • Cyprus 279.17  
  • Denmark  247.43
  • Finland  49.83
  • France (to be confirmed)
  • Germany  149.57
  • Greece 259.36
  • Hungary 101.95
  • Iceland 10.16
  • Ireland 102.61
  • Italy  135.77
  • Latvia 366.0*
  • Liechtenstein 69.68
  • Lithuania 467.38
  • Luxembourg 210.19
  • Malta 9.33
  • Monaco 66.5
  • Netherlands 361.72
  • Norway 110.5
  • Poland 81.93
  • Portugal 55.6
  • Romania 46.78
  • San Marino  63.86
  • Slovakia   114.29
  • Slovenia 264.43
  • Spain 139.71
  • Sweden 427.14
  • Switzerland 183.58
  • United Kingdom 40.67
  • 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 traveler'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 here.

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.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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