You are here

Estonia extends COVID-19 restrictions and harmonises the requirements for self-isolation related to border crossing

30. March 2021 - 18:28

Stenbock House, 30 March 2021 – Today, members of the government decided in principle to extend the restrictions established for preventing the spread of the coronavirus until at least 25 April (inclusive). Depending on the epidemic situation, the government may extend the restrictions upon the expiration of the established term of restrictions. Further extension of restrictions will be decided on every two weeks.

The government also decided in principle to remove the travel exceptions applicable to travellers arriving from Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland as of 5 April. In addition, the differences in the restrictions that applied to people coming to Estonia from the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland and Great Britain will also be lifted. In the border town of Valga-Valka, the current regulation for movement between the cities will remain in force. The government plans to adopt the corresponding order this Thursday.

“I am glad that the restrictions have started to affect the spread of the virus,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. “We have gained control over the explosive spread of infection caused by the UK variant. However, we must proceed with caution, as infection rates are yet to stabilise and we can expect a reduction in the number of people in need of hospital treatment with a short delay. The situation in hospitals is still difficult – today, 710 Estonians are hospitalised due to the coronavirus. Therefore, unfortunately, we must continue with the current restrictions. We are overcoming the virus, but we still have one difficult month ahead of us. I ask all Estonians to endure it together. I promise that the government is monitoring the situation closely and we will review the restrictions in two weeks’ time. Our goal is that the restrictions in Estonia would not be kept for a day longer than necessary,” said Kallas.

The existing restrictions will remain in force in all areas. This applies to education, sports, sports competitions and events, youth work, hobby education, and refresher training. Spas, water parks, and swimming pools have to stay closed to customers. Public events are prohibited, and both cultural institutions and entertainment venues must be closed. Exceptions apply to outdoor public meetings and worship services and to outdoor exhibition spaces of museums. Catering establishments are only allowed to sell take-away food. All stores except stores that sell essential goods must be closed. Other stores can sell and issue the goods in the outdoor area of the store. The occupancy of the room must not exceed 25% in open stores and commercial enterprises.

The requirements applicable to travelling to Estonia will be harmonised

People travelling to Estonia from Lithuania, Latvia, and Finland will be subject to the same requirements as those coming from other European countries. This means that from 5 April, all people who cross the Estonian state border must self-isolate for 10 days. People who have recovered from the coronavirus in the last six months or who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are exempt from self-isolation and testing.

Similar to travelling from other countries, the 10-day self-isolation period can be shortened by testing. This requires two negative coronavirus tests, one taken up to 72 hours before arrival and the second no earlier than on the sixth day after the first test.

The order establishes the possibility to return to the country from which the person came to Estonia before the end of the self-isolation period if the reason for the trip is unavoidable work, study, or family event.

In the case of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the existing differences will be eliminated for people arriving in Estonia and the general regulations related to travel will come into force.