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Crossing the Estonian border

Who is allowed to enter Estonia?

Starting from July 12 a test prior to arriving in Estonia is required for entering from those third countries that do not belong to the so-called green list of the European Union. The list of countries belonging to the green list has published on the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs https://vm.ee/en/information-countries-and-self-isolation-requirements-passengers.

A PCR test no more than 72 hours or, as a new possibility, an antigen rapid test no more than 48 hours prior to entering Estonia needs to be done and a certificate on the negative results needs to be presented by all citizens of third countries not on the green list who have not completed the course of vaccinations and who are coming to Estonia to work, study, join their family or based on a special permit.

People who are allowed to enter Estonia:

  • Persons who hold Estonian citizenship, have a residence permit or a right of residence in Estonia, or whose permanent residence is in Estonia according to the population register, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not.

  • Citizens and residents of the European Union, the European Economic Area countries, the Swiss Confederation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of San Marino, and the Vatican City State (the Holy See), as well as persons holding a long-stay visa who are not symptomatic, and their family members who are not symptomatic.

  • All persons who arrive to the Republic of Estonia from the European Union or the Schengen Area countries, or from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and are not symptomatic.

  • Foreign nationals arriving from third countries who come to Estonia for work or study and are not symptomatic.

  • Starting from June 21, 2021 entry into Estonia for travelling is allowed for persons who are asymptomatic, who are arriving from all third countries and have finished the course of vaccination against COVID-19, achieved the maximum protection after the last dose of the vaccine, and no more than one year has passed from it.

Self-isolation is mandatory for everyone who are symptomatic.

Self-isolation for asymptomatic individuals depends on the country from which they started their journey or countries through which they transited. People arriving in Estonia from at-risk countries have an obligation to remain in self-isolation for 10 days upon arrival. If they wish to reduce their period of self-isolation, they must do a PCR test no earlier than 72 hours or an antigen rapid test no earlier than 48 hours before they arrive in Estonia , and can get tested in Estonia on the sixth day from the one of the abovementioned tests. The self-isolation can be terminated before the tenth day if the results of both tests are negative. It is also possible to do a coronavirus PCR test or an antigen rapid test immediately after arrival in Estonia. In this case, it is also possible to reduce the self-isolation period with a second test that is done no earlier than 6 days after the first test, and both of those must be negative. The period of 6 days will be calculated from the day following the first test. A negative test done before entering Estonia by a citizen from a third country outside the green list does not release that person from doing the tests required for shortening the self-isolation period.

All persons who have done their first test in another country (i.e. not at the border) must book the appointment for a second test themselves, by calling the call centre's line for people crossing the border 678 0000 (Monday to Friday 9.00 to 17.00).

Information on the list of countries and self-isolation requirements for arrivals to Estonia is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If a person who comes to Estonia from a third country to study or to work comes from a country or transits through a country that is not listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or is listed as 'red', they must remain in self-isolation, which means that the employer or educational institution ensures the following:

  • the employee's or student's transport and possibility to stay in self-isolation (10 days) from their arrival in Estonia, during which they are not allowed to begin their work or studies;

  • the employee or student can reduce the 10-day self-isolation by COVID-19 testing immediately after arrival in Estonia and repeat testing no sooner than on the 6th day of staying in Estonia;

To all other arrivals in Estonia the coronavirus test is not compulsory but it would allow reducing the 10 day long self-isolation requirement and it is recommended in any case. The movement restriction requirement to a person travelling to Estonia depends on whether the European country the person is coming from has a coronavirus infection rate that is higher than 75. If the rate is lower, there is no need to restrict one's movements; if it is lower, there is this obligation. If the person arrives from outside Europe, the movement restriction generally applies.

As an exception, the following asymptomatic persons may enter Estonia:

  • employees of a foreign diplomatic representation or a consular office in Estonia, their family members, or foreign nationals arriving to Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation,

  • persons who are directly involved with transporting goods or raw materials, including the loading of goods or raw materials,

  • person who is a member of a foreign delegation arriving in Estonia at the invitation of the authority of the state or local government entity, in order to attend a work-related meeting,

  • providers of healthcare or other services necessary for solving the emergency situation,

  • persons who are 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 who provide services to groups of passengers and are directly involved in the provision of passenger transport services,

  • persons whose purpose of arrival in Estonia is to ensure the operability 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,

  • foreign nationals who are immediately passing through the territory of Estonia in order to reach their country of residence,

  • foreign nationals whose direct descendant or ascendant relative (a direct descendant is a child or a (great)grandchild and their descendants, direct ascendants are a parent(s) or (great)grandparent(s)) or spouse, including a partner they are not married to on in civil partnership with, is an Estonian national, holder of an Estonian residence permit or the right of residence. At the border crossing, the burden of proof lies with the life partners who have to prove their partner status in order to receive permission to cross the border. To make the border crossing of the partner easier, we recommend sending the written confirmation of the Estonian citizen, or the foreign national who has the Estonian residence permit of right of residence, attesting that the arriving foreigner is their partner, to the Police and Border guard in advance.

  • foreign nationals who have received a special permit to enter the country from the Police and Border Guard Board. The application must be sent to ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee. The application for permission to cross the border in exceptional circumstances can be found on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board. The purpose of the special application is to allow third-country nationals to apply for crossing the external borders, for the purpose of entering Estonia under special circumstances for family reasons, such as funeral, wedding, illness of a family member, an indispensable meeting with a family member. A foreigner allowed to enter Estonia on the basis of a special application is subject to a general restriction of freedom of movement and must not leave their permanent place of residence or stay within 10 days.

The person arriving in Estonia can complete the electronic health declaration for crossing the border 72 hours before their arrival to Estonia. This will make the border crossing faster, and they do not have to wait in order to fill in a paper declaration.

What documents do I need to be able to prove on the border that I have been vaccinated against COVID-19?

The provider of health care services has an obligation to document a vaccination according to the requirements and forward the data to the Health Information System. If you have been vaccinated in Estonia, it is possible to see your own immunization data and, if necessary, print them out from the Patient Portal digilugu.ee (immunization notification, epicrisis). It is also possible to prove vaccination with an immunization passport, that can be issued on paper by the provider of health care services.

People who have been vaccinated while abroad can prove their vaccination by presenting an immunization passport, its copy, or a relevant certificate, that contains, in Latin or Slavic alphabet and in Estonian, Russian or English, among other things, the data of the person immunized, e.g. the disease against which the immunization was done, the date of the immunization, the immunization agent that was used, its lot number, the dosage administered, how many doses have been administered to the person, and the name and other data of the provider of the immunization. The proof can also be an officially certified printout from a database of another country.

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.

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

Police provides official assistance to the Health Board in monitoring compliance with restrictions on movement. This means that when police officers see the movement restrictions set be the government being violated in the course of their every-day work, they talk with people and explain the risks involved in public gatherings. If the infringement continues, the police inform the Health Board, which may, if necessary, issue a prescriptive order and impose a penalty payment.

Where is it possible to find information on travelling between Estonia and Finland?

Starting from July 26, Finland can be freely entered by citizens of all countries, provided that they can prove that they have been vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine or that they have recovered from the coronavirus. Also those who come from a country of origin that Finland estimates to have a low infection rate -- up to 10 infected persons per 100,000 residents.

Upon entering the country, the passenger has to present one of the following documents to the health officials:

  • the certificate of vaccination (at least 14 days have passed since the last dose of the vaccine);
  • the document proving recovery from COVID-19 (recovery within the past six months);
  • the COVID test certificate with a negative result (test done up to 72h before the trip).

Children born in 2006 and later are allowed to enter the country without the certificates of vaccination or recovery. As well as, for instance, diplomats, goods transport and logistics personnel, crews of ships, aircraft or trains, or people entering the country in order to counter an unexpected health or security related threat to the society's infrastructure.

If the stay in Finland is longer than 72 hours and there is no certificate of vaccination or recovery, or only one vaccine shot has been administered, it is compulsory to do a corona test no more than 72 hours after arrival in the country. All contacts must be avoided until the test results come in.

More information about entry into the country, transit and testing on the border can be found here: https://reisitargalt.vm.ee/riigid/soome/ (in Estonian).

Do pilots also have the obligation to self-isolate and test after crossing the border?

Pilots fall under an exception in force, according to which they are not subject to the obligations to self-isolate and test if they are directly involved with international freight or passenger transport and are arriving in Estonia to perform professional duties.

Do pilots also have the obligation to self-isolate and test after crossing the border?

Pilots fall under an exception in force, according to which they are not subject to the obligations to self-isolate and test if they are directly involved with international freight or passenger transport and are arriving in Estonia to perform professional duties.

Who has to remain in self-isolation for ten days after entering Estonia?

All symptomatic persons have an obligation to self-isolate. Whether an asymptomatic person has an obligation to self-isolate depends on their country of departure or transit. Self-isolation is obligatory for people who come from a European country where the infection rate is higher than 75, if the infection rate is lower, there is no obligation to restrict one's movements. Self-isolation is also not required upon arrival from an European country where the infection rate of the past 14 days is higher than 75 but no higher than 200 per 100,000 inhabitants, and a negative SARS-Cov-2 test is done before arriving in Estonia or is done immediately after arrival in Estonia. The person must stay at their place of residence or permanent place of stay until the negative test results come in.

People who come from outside of Europe generally fall under the requirement to restrict their movements. It is possible to shorten the self-isolation obligation by doing a coronavirus test, and this is recommended in any case.

Information about the countries and self-isolation obligations of those arriving in Estonia can be found on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://vm.ee/en/information-countries-and-self-isolation-requirements-passengers. The list is updated every Friday with restrictions that go into force the following Monday. If a person coming from a risk country does not do a test, he will have to restrict his movements.

Staying in self-isolation means that a person cannot leave their place of residence within 10 days, except at the order of a health care worker or police officer or for essential trips. 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, purchase medicines, get fresh air. In all these cases, contacts with other people must be avoided. Therefore, you cannot go to work or go hiking on a populated hiking trail. But you can go outside for a run or to ride a bike, for example, if you do it without coming into contact with other people.

What kind of a declaration must a person present when crossing the state border?

At the border, a person entering the country must present their personal data and contact information, the data on underaged children that travelled with them, and travel information to the Health Board. Information that should be written down are the country of departure to Estonia, the date of arrival, and states that were transited during the trip, including countries where stopovers or transfers took place.

The declaration (a passenger locator form) can be submitted both on paper and electronically. The self-service portal of the Health Board can be found at the web page iseteenindus.terviseamet.ee. People who have had the virus, have been vaccinated, or are not subject to movement restrictions according to the order of the Government do not have to present the declaration if they can prove their status.

If a person subject to the obligation to present a declaration refuses to fill out the form, a penalty payment could applied to them.

 

 

Last updated: 3 June 2021