Self-isolation rules for travelers to change from Monday July 19

Travellers at Tallinn Airport.
Travellers at Tallinn Airport. Source: Sander Koit / ERR

From Monday, July 19, only travelers from European counties with a coronavirus infection rate of 75 per 100,000 inhabitants or less can enter Estonia with no restrictions. The rules do not apply to people who are vaccinated.

Currently, Estonia does not impose restrictions on travelers who have come from countries with an infection rate of 150 per 100,000 or below.

The order changes the requirements for self-isolation and testing after arrival in Estonia from a EU or Schengen member state, the EEA or the U.K.

The recommendation is divided into three categories according to the risk level of the country from which the person arrives in Estonia.

People can come to Estonia without restrictions from a European country with a 14-day infection rate equal to or less than 75 per 100,000 people.

If the country's infection rate is between 75 and 200, no restrictions will apply upon arrival in Estonia if the person has evidence of vaccination against COVID-19, having recovered from the virus or a negative test result. Upon arrival in Estonia without proof, the person must be tested for coronavirus upon arrival in the country. Until the result is known, the person must stay at their place of residence.

When arriving from a European country with an infection rate of more than 200, self-isolation must be maintained for 10 days, which can be shortened with two negative tests. A person who has completed a vaccination course or who has recovered from COVID-19 is exempt from the restrictions.

The amendment also introduces an exemption for minors traveling in Europe with a person who has been vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 and is therefore exempt from self-isolation.

Unvaccinated minors aged 12-18 do not have to self-isolate if they arrive with a companion from a European country with an infection rate higher than 75 and has tested negative either before or immediately upon arrival in Estonia.

The same rules also apply if a minor arrives in Estonia from a third country that is on the European Union's green list and has an infection rate higher than 75. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from isolation and testing.

An unvaccinated minor aged 12-18 can come to Estonia from third countries with a high risk of infection under a simplified procedure if they are accompanied by a vaccinated person. In this case, the minor must get either a coronavirus PCR test up to 72 hours before arriving in Estonia or a rapid antigen test up to 48 hours before, the result of which is negative. The test must also be performed immediately upon arrival in Estonia, and the result must also be negative. Children under the age of 12 do not need to get tested. Exceptions for children do not apply to groups of minors traveling together.

In addition, the deadline for releasing a person who has recovered from COVID-19 from self-isolation is specified. According to the amendment, a person who has recovered from COVID-19 is no longer at risk of spreading infection and no more than 180 days have elapsed since the confirmation test or diagnosis was confirmed is exempted from self-isolation and testing.

According to the agreement of the member states of the EU, the proof of recovery can be used for release from self-isolation at the earliest on the 11th calendar day after the positive PCR test. If a PCR test has not been performed, it is possible to use a medical certificate about recovery issued by the doctor. Until now, the start of the six-month isolation exemption was calculated from the time when the doctor had deemed the person who had recovered from COVID-19 as recovered.

A similar amendment applies to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and are vaccinated with a single dose. At present, a person is exempt from self-isolation if they have recovered from COVID-19 during the past year and subsequently received a single dose of the vaccine, or who have recovered from COVID-19 after receiving the first dose of vaccine. According to the amendment, in these cases also a period of one year is calculated from the positive result of a PCR test or the date of confirmation of the diagnosis.

The amendment brings the rules in force in Estonia in line with the EU digital certificate regulation and the recommendations of the EU Council.

Information on countries and movement restrictions is available on the Foreign Ministry's website, which is updated every Friday from the following Monday.

The current travel restrictions, which run up to Sunday, July 18 inclusive, and use the earlier 150 per 100,000 inhabitants 14-day rate benchmark, are here.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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