Stenbock House, 15 July 2021 – At a cabinet meeting, the government discussed and approved amendments to orders regulating the requirements for self-isolation and testing valid upon arrival in Estonia based on the recommendations of the European Union. As of Monday, it is allowed to arrive in Estonia without restrictions from European countries with a two-week infection rate of up to 75 cases per 100,000 people.
The order amends the requirements for self-isolation and testing after arrival in Estonia from an EU or Schengen member state, the European Economic Area, or the United Kingdom. In accordance with the recommendations of the European Union, the restrictions are divided into three categories according to the risk level of the country from which the person arrives in Estonia.
In accordance with the amendment, a person may travel to Estonia without restrictions from European countries with a 14-day infection rate of 75 or less cases per 100,000 people. If the infection rate is in the range of 75–200, the restrictions will not apply upon arrival in Estonia if the individual has a proof of vaccination against COVID-19, has previously been infected with the disease, or can provide a negative test result. Upon arrival in Estonia without a certificate, a Covid test must be performed after arrival in the country. Until the result is known, the individual must remain at their place of residence.
Upon arrival from a European country with an infection rate of more than 200, self-isolation must be imposed for 10 days, which can be shortened by two negative tests. A person who has completed a course of vaccination or has previously been infected with COVID-19 is exempt from these restrictions.
The amendment also introduces an exemption for minors travelling in Europe with a person who has been vaccinated or has previously been infected with COVID-19 and is therefore exempt from the self-isolation rule.
In accordance with the amendment, an unvaccinated minor aged 12–18 does not have to remain in self-isolation if they arrive in Estonia with a person from a European country with an infection rate higher than 75 and who has passed a negative test 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 “green list” of the European Union and has an infection rate above 75. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the self-isolation and testing requirement.
Unvaccinated minors aged 12–18 may 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 undergo either a COVID PCR test up to 72 hours before the arrival in Estonia or a rapid antigen test up to 48 hours earlier, the result of which must be 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 take the test. Exceptions for children do not apply to groups of minors travelling together.
The time limit for releasing a person with COVID-19 from self-isolation was also specified. In accordance with the amendment, a person who has previously been infected with COVID-19, who is no longer at risk of infection, and in whose case no more than 180 days have passed since the result of the test or the diagnosis was confirmed is exempt from the self-isolation and testing requirement.
In accordance with an agreement between the EU Member States, the proof of a previous COVID-19 infection can be used for exemption from the self-isolation requirement on the eleventh calendar day after the positive PCR test at the earliest. If a PCR test has not been taken, it is possible to use a medical certificate issued by the physician, stating that the person has previously been infected with COVID-19. To date, the start of the six-month self-isolation exemption was calculated as of the time when the physician had declared the COVID-19 patient healthy.
A similar amendment applies to people previously infected with COVID-19 and who have received a single dose of the vaccine. Currently, a person is exempt from the self-isolation requirement if they have been infected with COVID-19 during the past year and subsequently received a single dose of the vaccine or if they have been infected with COVID-19 after having received the first dose of vaccine. In accordance with the amendment, in these cases, a term of one year is calculated from the date of a positive PCR test or the date of confirmation of the respective diagnosis.
The amendment brings the rules in force in Estonia in line with the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation and the recommendations of the EU Council. The orders will enter into force on 19 July and will be published in Riigi Teataja and on the website kriis.ee.