Estonia allocates €1.3 million for refugees, changes covid travel rules
The Estonian government allocated €1.3 million on Tuesday towards the initial costs of accepting people displaced by the war in Ukraine. It also eased the coronavirus rules for Ukrainians entering the country.
The money will be given to the Ministry of Social Affairs and comes from government reserves. It will be used for initial arrangements in taking in refugees.
Further debate on accepting those fleeing the war in Ukraine and the costs related to doing so will take place in subsequent cabinet meetings.
Rules introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus will also be changed to not hinder people's arrival.
Ukrainian citizens, their spouses and direct dependents of all ages will not be subject to the restrictions put in place for those crossing the border, including the requirement to present a vaccination certificate.
In addition to spouses and dependents, the Police and Border Guard Board may allow others, such as partners, into Estonia from Ukraine on humanitarian grounds to keep families together.
Basic health checks will be guaranteed for all refugees in Estonia. The government order will enter into force on Wednesday.
The first hundred people arrived in Estonia on Monday on buses organized with the assistance of the Estonian Refugee Council. The majority will stay with friends or relatives already living in Estonia.
The Social Insurance Board is providing psychosocial support services around the clock.
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Editor: Helen Wright