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The government provides exemptions from restrictions for people who have recovered from and been vaccinated against COVID-19

29. January 2021 - 0:00

Stenbock House, 29 January 2021 – The government decided today to extend until the end of May the quarantine requirements for people diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts and to provide for an exemption, which would allow people who have been vaccinated against or recovered from coronavirus in the last six months to not stay in quarantine as close contacts or in self-isolation after crossing the border.


Person diagnosed with COVID-19

Pursuant to the order, people diagnosed with COVID-19 are forbidden from leaving their place of residence or permanent place of stay until they have recovered from the illness, except upon an order of a health care professional or a police officer, upon a referral from a health care professional to receive health services, or in an emergency endangering the person’s life or health.

A hotel or other accommodation establishment, such as a guest apartment, which is used by a person who has no other place of residence or place of stay during their stay in Estonia, is considered a permanent place of stay. A permanent place of stay also means places where shelter services and safe house services are provided.


Close contacts of a person diagnosed with COVID-19

The quarantine requirement also applies to a person living with the person diagnosed with coronavirus, permanently staying in the same place of residence as them, or otherwise being in close contact with them: they must remain at home for 10 days after becoming aware of the COVID-19 diagnosis.

As an exception, close contacts of a diagnosed person who do not have any symptoms may leave their place of residence or stay if they do so on the instructions of a health care professional or a police officer, upon a referral from a health care professional to receive health services, or in the event of a life-threatening emergency.

As an exception, a close contact may also leave home if they are procuring essentials for daily living close to home or if contact with the infected person is excluded at their place of residence or stay. In addition, asymptomatic close contacts of a person diagnosed with coronavirus may be outdoors if they completely avoid contact with other people.

If a person who has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 leaves home in these exceptional cases, they must closely monitor their health and take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Exceptions to the quarantine requirements are also provided for a health care professional or a person performing a public task who performs urgent work tasks at the decision of the employer.


Exception for vaccinated or recovered close contacts

In accordance with the amendment to the order, a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 does not have to remain in quarantine for 10 days from 2 February if they have recovered from COVID-19 during the last six months and have been declared healthy by a doctor or if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 during the last six months.

However, in the event of close contact, a person who has recovered from the disease or been vaccinated against COVID-19 must wear a mask or cover their nose and mouth indoors for 10 days in areas where they come into contact with people with whom they do not live. The requirement to wear a mask does not apply to children under the age of 12 or if it is not possible to wear a mask due to health reasons, the nature of work or activity, or other valid reasons.

In addition, close contacts who have recovered from or been vaccinated against coronavirus and have no symptoms must closely monitor their health for 10 days and follow the measures put in place by the government and the Health Board to prevent the spread of the disease.

The order of the government must be published in the media and the Government Communication Unit will send a relevant formal notice. The order enters into force on 2 February and is valid until 31 May (inclusive).


Exception for vaccinated or recovered persons crossing the border

With the changes made in the second order, the government will provide a similar exemption for persons who have recovered from or have been vaccinated against COVID-19 arriving in Estonia across the border as of 2 February.

In accordance with the general procedure, a person arriving in Estonia from a country with a high risk of infection must stay in their place of residence or permanent residence for 10 days. The isolation time can be shortened by two tests, the first of which can be taken before or after arriving in Estonia and the second no earlier than on the sixth day after the first test.

In accordance with the order, the 10-day isolation requirement at the place of residence or stay and testing requirement do not apply for a person who has recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months and who has been declared healthy by a doctor or who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the last six months. At the same time, they must continue to comply with the restrictions in force in Estonia and follow all the measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

The changes in the government’s orders are based on the recommendations of the Health Board, the Estonian Society of Infectious Diseases, and the scientific council advising the government.