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Crossing the Estonian border

General rules

When I arrive from certain European countries - when does the restriction on freedom of movement apply?

As of June 1, people may enter Estonia if they have no symptoms of the disease, and if they arrive from the European Union Member State, or Schengen area, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island. Restriction on freedom of movement depends on the rate of coronavirus infection being greater than 15 in their country of departure. If the infection rate is less than 15, then the restriction on freedom of movement is not applicable, if greater, then the restriction applies.

Information about the restrictions on countries and freedom of movement for arrivals from Europe countries is available on the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://vm.ee/et/uudised/uuendatud-teave-riikide-ja-eneseisolatsiooninouete-kohta-euroopast-saabujatele-21-juuni.

The list will be updated every Friday and is valid as of following Monday.

Who should be notified if the address provided at the border changes during the 14-day movement restriction period?

The place of stay can be changed only if justified. If there is a need to change the address of stay during the restriction of movement, the Police and Border Guard Board must be notified. To this end, you must forward your contact details (name, family name, personal identification code, phone number, address) and the date of restriction of movement to ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee.

I signed the restriction of freedom of movement confirmation at the border, but I fall under exceptions to whom the restriction of movement does not apply. What should I do?

Questions related to the freedom of movement restrictions, such as non-application of the restriction or exemption from the restriction, must be submitted to the Health Board at the kesk[at]terviseamet[dot]ee.

What does restriction of freedom of movement mean?

The restriction of freedom of movement means that a person may not leave their place of stay within 14 days, except on the order of a health care worker or police officer or for essential reasons. For example, you can leave your home if your life is in danger or you need medical care, you need to renew food supplies, buy essential goods, get medicines. In all these cases, contact with other people must be avoided. Therefore, you must not go to work or go hiking on a popular forest trail. But you can go running or riding a bike, for example, if you do it without coming into contact with other people.

Are border controls carried out at the border?

Yes, border controls are carried out on the Estonian-Russian border checking the people crossing the border as usual. Restrictions still apply to foreign nationals wishing to enter Estonia from outside the European Union, the Schengen area, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Crossing the state border to enter into Estonia is allowed to a person who has Estonian citizenship, an Estonian residence permit or a right of residency, or whose permanent place of residence is in Estonia according to the population register.

As of June 1, the Estonian borders were re-opened for people arriving from European countries. People can enter the country, and do not have the obligation to stay at home, if:

  • they are arriving from the European Union Member State, a Schengen area country, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • they have no symptoms of the disease.

  • they have stayed in the European Union Member State or a Schengen Area country, or in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland where in the past 14 days the coronavirus infection rate is no more than 15 persons per 100,000 inhabitants.

  • Statistical information on the infection rate of the previous 14 days per 100 000 inhabitants are published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website every Friday and is valid for the next seven days as of the following Monday.

  • Restrictions still apply to foreign nationals wishing to enter Estonia from outside the European Union, the Schengen area, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

People are allowed to enter Estonia and do not have to remain in quarantine if they have no symptoms of the disease and if they enjoyed this right previously, such as:

  • persons directly involved with transporting goods or raw materials, including loading of goods or raw materials.
  • employees at a foreign diplomatic representation or a consular office, or their family members, or foreign nationals arriving to Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation.
  • persons providing health care services or other services necessary for solving the emergency situation.
  • persons directly involved in the international carriage of goods or passengers, including crew members serving on an international means of transport and persons performing repairs, warranty, or maintenance services on a means of transport.
  • persons providing services to groups of passengers, and directly involved in passenger service provision.
  • persons whose purpose of arrival in Estonia is to ensure the performance of an essential service.
  • persons whose arrival in Estonia is related to the maintenance, repair, warranty or information and communication technology of equipment of an enterprise operating in Estonia, where this is necessary to ensure the operation of the enterprise.
  • persons who have been granted special authorisation to enter.

As regards to persons who do not fall within the exceptions mentioned in the Order by the Government of the Republic, it is still possible to allow crossing the border on the basis of a specific request to be submitted to the Police and Border Guard Board at e-mail: ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee. The application form can be found here: https://www.politsei.ee/et/juhend/eriolukord.

What should I expect when crossing borders?

You need to take into account restrictions which apply when crossing the Estonian border: https://www.politsei.ee/et/juhend/eriolukord.

When entering Estonia:

  • your travel documents will be checked.
  • you need to provide information regarding your travel itinerary.
  • you need to provide your contact information (e-mail, telephone, address).

What data am I asked to provide upon entering Estonia and why?

At the border crossing point, a person entering the state is identified, their documents are checked, and the officials will ask about any possible symptoms of illness. The person will then confirm that they are aware of the conditions set in place for containing the virus, including the obligation to stay home for 14 days. The restriction of movement confirmation must be signed by those people, to whom the exceptions do not apply.

I bought a puppy from a neighbouring country. Is it possible that the seller of the puppy brings the animal to the border crossing point and I pick it up at the Estonian border?

No. The Police and Border Control (PPA) officers do not go to the border control points of neighbouring countries to bring puppies (or any other kinds of pets) to Estonia. To bring the purchased pet to Estonia, you have to find another solution or wait for the restrictions to be lifted. PPA does not keep individuals from exiting the country (except in case you have entered Estonia within the past 14 days and are subject to the 14-day movement restriction). If you enter another country (to pick up the pet), Estonian citizens have to take into account the restrictions that are in place at the moment and, if needed, contact the border control office of the other country to apply for a special permit to enter the country. The Estonian Police and Border Control Board does not issue permits to enter other countries. Additional information about entry conditions to other countries and applying for special permits can also be requested from embassies/foreign representations of foreign countries. If the seller of the dog / cat / or any other animal wishes to come to Estonia, they have to apply for a special permit. More information is available on the PPA website: [https://www.politsei.ee/en/instructions/emergency-situation ]

Is it possible to organise a transfer goods at the border in such a way that neither of the parties concerned crosses the border?

No, it is not possible. One of you – the consignor or the consignee – still has to cross the border.

Please familiarise yourself with the rules for crossing the State border during the emergency situation. (https://www.politsei.ee/et/juhend/eriolukord).

Who is allowed to enter Estonia?

Crossing the state border to enter into Estonia is allowed to a person who has Estonian citizenship, an Estonian residence permit or a right of residency, or whose permanent place of residence is in Estonia according to the population register.

As of June 1, the Estonian borders were re-opened for people arriving from European countries. People can enter the country, and their movements are not restricted, if:

  • they are arriving from the European Union Member State, a Schengen area country, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • they have no symptoms of the disease.

  • they have stayed in the European Union Member State or a Schengen Area country, or in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland where in the past 14 days the coronavirus infection rate is no more than 15 persons per 100,000 inhabitants.

People are allowed to enter Estonia and their movements are not restricted if they have no symptoms of the disease and if they enjoyed this right previously, such as:

  • persons directly involved with transporting goods or raw materials, including loading of goods or raw materials.
  • employees at a foreign diplomatic representation or a consular office, or their family members, or foreign nationals arriving to Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation.
  • persons providing health care services or other services necessary for solving the emergency situation.
  • persons directly involved in the international carriage of goods or passengers, including crew members serving on an international means of transport and persons performing repairs, warranty, or maintenance services on a means of transport.
  • persons providing services to groups of passengers, and directly involved in passenger service provision.
  • persons whose purpose of arrival in Estonia is to ensure the performance of an essential service.
  • persons whose arrival in Estonia is related to the maintenance, repair, warranty or information and communication technology of equipment of an enterprise operating in Estonia, where this is necessary to ensure the operation of the enterprise.
  • persons who have been granted special authorisation to enter.

As an exception, the Police and Border Guard Board may allow a foreign national to enter Estonia if they have no symptoms of the disease, and have relatives in the descending line (children, and their offspring) or relatives in the ascending line (parents, and their ascendants) who are Estonian citizens, have Estonian residence permit, or right of residence in Estonia.

Do I need to carry valid identification when crossing the border?

It is compulsory to carry proof of identity (ID-card or driving licence) when crossing either the external border with the Russian Federation or the internal border with the other EU member states. You must also carry a travel document to cross the border (Estonian citizens crossing the external border have to carry an Estonian citizen’s passport and those crossing the internal border have to carry a passport or an ID-card.

Will I be turned back from the border if I am ill?

If you are an Estonian citizen or resident, you will not be turned back from the border even if you have symptoms of the disease. Also, those foreign citizens, whose family members reside in Estonia, will also be allowed to enter the county.

At the border

  • your travel documents will be checked, as well as your reason for entering the country and
  • the state of your health will be visually checked.

What happens if a person succeeds in entering the country by avoiding border checks, and they have symptoms of the disease?

Persons crossing the border illegally may receive a punishment and in the case of a foreign national, the penalty is accompanied by expulsion.

The legal consequence is not affected by whether a person is carrying the virus or not.

What should I know about the port border control?

As border controls at the internal borders of the European Union have been restored on a temporary basis, the obligation of border controls also applies to small vessels if they wish to enter a port of a Member State. Master of a recreational vessel must inform the nearest port police authority or a port authority of their arrival in Estonia (crossing the State border), who will then inform the nearest port police authority (Tallinn border inspection point tel. +372 619 1260), at least one hour before entering or leaving the port. The Police will carry out the border control based on the request.
On arrival to Estonia (crossing the State border), the recreational vessel must go to the border inspection post of the port open for international traffic, as border control at the internal border has been temporarily restored. The list of ports open for international traffic are published in the State Gazette. https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/101062018007

The police have the right to control all the vessels at sea when guarding the state borders to ensure compliance with the border regime and compliance with the emergency requirements. Anyone who crosses the territorial sea border (regardless of the direction of their journey) is subject to control of the border regime. It is recommended not to travel abroad. Before leaving the port, establish whether the foreign country will allow you to enter their territory (in general, no one is currently allowed to enter another country, access is granted only in exceptional circumstances). Those who do not benefit from exemptions from movement restrictions are not allowed to enter Estonia (e.g. a Finnish national who wants to come to Estonia to perform small vessel maintenance).

 

Restriction on freedom of movement 

What does restriction of freedom of movement mean?

The restriction of freedom of movement means that a person may not leave their place of stay within 14 days, except on the order of a health care worker or police officer or for essential reasons. For example, you can leave your home if your life is in danger or you need medical care, you need to renew food supplies, buy essential goods, get medicines. In all these cases, contact with other people must be avoided. Therefore, you must not go to work or go hiking on a popular forest trail. But you can go running or riding a bike, for example, if you do it without coming into contact with other people.

Who is subject to a restriction on freedom of movement for 14 days after entering Estonia?

As of June 1, the Estonian borders were re-opened for people arriving from European countries. People can enter the country, and do not have the obligation to stay at home, if:

  • they are arriving from the European Union Member State, a Schengen area country, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • they have no symptoms of the disease.
  • they have stayed in the European Union Member State or a Schengen Area country, or in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland where in the past 14 days the coronavirus infection rate is no more than 15 persons per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Statistical information on the infection rate of the previous 14 days per 100 000 inhabitants are published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website every Friday and is valid for the next seven days as of the following Monday.

Restrictions still apply to foreign nationals wishing to enter Estonia from outside the European Union, the Schengen area, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

People are allowed to enter Estonia and do not have to remain in quarantine if they have no symptoms of the disease and if they enjoyed this right previously, such as:

  • persons directly involved with transporting goods or raw materials, including loading of goods or raw materials.
  • employees at a foreign diplomatic representation or a consular office, or their family members, or foreign nationals arriving to Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation.
  • persons providing health care services or other services necessary for solving the emergency situation.
  • persons directly involved in the international carriage of goods or passengers, including crew members serving on an international means of transport and persons performing repairs, warranty, or maintenance services on a means of transport.
  • persons providing services to groups of passengers, and directly involved in passenger service provision.
  • persons whose purpose of arrival in Estonia is to ensure the performance of an essential service.
  • persons whose arrival in Estonia is related to the maintenance, repair, warranty or information and communication technology of equipment of an enterprise operating in Estonia, where this is necessary to ensure the operation of the enterprise.
  • persons who have been granted special authorisation to enter.

As regards to persons who do not fall within the exceptions mentioned in the Order by the Government of the Republic, it is still possible to allow crossing the border on the basis of a specific request to be submitted to the Police and Border Guard Board at e-mail: ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee. The application form can be found here: https://www.politsei.ee/et/juhend/eriolukord.

What is the confirmation of restriction on freedom of movement?

The restriction on freedom of movement confirmation is a document that a person entering Estonia signs at the border. The signature is confirmation that the person is

  • aware of the restriction on freedom of movement and
  • obligated to stay at their residence or place of stay for 14 calendar days.

The person signing the document also includes their personal and contact information, as well as the address of the residence or place of stay. If the address provided at the border changes during the obligation to not leave that address, the Police and Border Control should be notified by e-mail at: ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee

If a person has signed at the border confirming the restriction of movement, but the person belongs to the group of exceptions or the restriction has been lifted by a later order - how to get around the obligation to restrict movement?

Send your first and last name, personal identification code, address, telephone number with the reason for deregistration to ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee

Why is staying at home necessary?

Isolation at home is a measure of prevention, to keep the disease from spreading. The less people move around and the less they have social contact, the smaller the risk of the infection spreading. The period is 14 days, because that is how long it might take for symptoms of illness to appear. If symptoms do appear, you have to stay at home until you are well, but if your condition worsens, you should call the ambulance.

Generally, the COVID-19 disease passes lightly, but those in danger include elderly people and those with a weaker immune system, in whose case the symptoms may develop into a severe case of pneumonia. When you stay at home, you keep the virus away from these kinds of people.

If a person comes back to Estonia from abroad, but lives with an elderly relative, who is in the risk group , where will this returning person be isolated?

A person coming from abroad should definitely not go into isolation to where their grandparent lives. This person should find a place to stay at a hotel or find a place with the help of friends and family in Estonia to stay for 14 days, if possible. Currently no private-sector accommodation establishments have expressed their willingness to accommodate people obliged to stay in isolation (either for free, or for a charge).

How do the police monitor compliance with the restriction on freedom of movement?

During the emergency situation the police was given the task to check the compliance with the 2+2 rule. As the emergency situation ended, the Government assigned this task to the Health Board with the Order of the Government. The country continues to be in a state of health emergency and the virus has not been eradicated. When police officers notice violations of movement restrictions in the course of their normal work, they talk with people and explain the risks involved in public gatherings. In the framework of professional assistance, in the event of a continuing infringement, we shall forward the information to the Health Board, which may, if necessary, who can issue a prescriptive order or impose a penalty payment.

If the restriction of movement has been established, is it necessary also to avoid contacts with family members?

The purpose of the restriction on freedom of movement is to avoid possible contacts of an infected person with other people in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. During the 14-day isolation period, it would be advisable to maintain distance with the family members or roommates.

 

Last updated: 6 July 2020