You are here

Travelling to Estonia - foreigners

Can a foreigner enter Estonia?

Who is required to self-isolate when entering the country?

Self-isolation is mandatory for everyone showing symptoms.

Self-isolation for individuals without any symptoms depends on the country from which they departed or countries through which they transited. Information on countries and self-isolation requirements for people arriving in Estonia can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If a person arrives from or transits through a country that is not listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or is listed with red, they must remain in self-isolation.

As of September 1, people returning to Estonia from the countries with high COVID-19 risk will have the opportunity to take two tests which would allow them to self-isolate for less than 14 calendar days, if both tests come back negative. The condition is that upon entering Estonia, the person will immediately take the test for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 disease, and this test result is negative. People are required to self-isolate in their place of residence or stay until they receive their test results. In the case of a negative test result, the person may go outside in the following cases:

  1. if they have received an order from a health care worker or a police officer to leave the place of residence or permanent stay;
  2. they leave their place of residence or permanent stay while directed to do so by a health care worker to receive health care services or in the event of an emergency which threatens the life or health of a person;
  3. if they fulfil immediate and unavoidable work obligations upon the decision of the employer or participate in an unavoidable family event and have taken at least one test for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 disease after their arrival in Estonia, and the test results are negative.
  4. when they need to leave their place of residence or stay for an essential reason, while remaining nearby their residence.
  5. when they stay outdoors and avoid any contacts with other people.
  6. when they have signed a confirmation of compliance with the instructions and current requirements of the Health Board, confirming the obligation to comply with the above requirements.

The second test must be performed no earlier than the seventh day following the receipt of the previous test result. After finding out the negative result of the second test or the doctor has declared the person non-infectious, the obligation to isolate ends.

Which foreign nationals are allowed to enter Estonia as an exception?

As an exception, the following foreign nationals who do not show any signs of illness may enter Estonia:

  • employees at 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
  • members of a foreign delegation arriving in Estonia for a work meeting at the invitation of a state authority or local government authority
  • persons who are directly involved with transporting goods or raw materials, including loading of goods or raw materials
  • 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 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 are immediately passing through the territory of Estonia in order to reach their country of residence
  • persons whose direct descendant or ascendant, relative or spouse is an Estonian national, holder of an Estonian residence permit or the right of residence
  • performers at a public event or the organisers of the event, persons who participate in a sports competition as athletes, or are directly involved in organising a sports competition or event that has been authorised by the Health Board
  • foreign nationals who have received a special permit to enter the country from the Police and Border Guard Board. The purpose of the special permit is to enable third-country nationals to apply for authorisation to cross the external border for the purpose of entering Estonia. Especially for family reasons, e.g. funerals, weddings, illness of a family member, an essential meeting with a family member, etc. 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:

A foreign national who has been admitted to Estonia on the basis of a special permit is subject to a general restriction on the freedom of movement and may not leave his or her permanent residence or place of stay within 14 days. From 1 September, those returning to Estonia from COVID-19 risk countries will have the opportunity to be tested for coronavirus at the airport and port in order to shorten the period of self-isolation and allow them to return to work sooner. People are required to self-isolate completely until they receive their test results. In the case of a negative test result, a person must stay in limited self-isolation for the first seven days, which means that he or she can go to work and, for example, a shop, but must avoid unnecessary contacts. A second test must be performed no earlier than 7 days after the results of the first test, and if the results of this test are also negative, a person can resume their daily life.

Who can apply for a visa at Estonian representations?

Estonian foreign representations that process visa applications and are located in one of the countries included in the special list of countries of the Council of Europe, it is possible to apply for a visa for visiting Estonia for all travel purposes, including tourism. See the list of countries here: (scroll down).

In other Estonian foreign representations which process visa applications, it is possible to apply for a visa for people who come to Estonia for work or study or who are allowed to enter Estonia. See the list here:

From which countries is it possible to come to Estonia to study or work?

Coming to work or study in Estonia is possible from all the countries in the world. The requirement for a mandatory self-isolation applies to arrivals from a country that is "red" according to the Estonian system.

Could a person of Russian nationality working in Estonia but living in Russia (incl. people of Estonian and Russian dual citizenship), exceptionally, be able to cross the Estonian-Russian border for work purposes?

There are no derogations for crossing the Estonian-Russian border and persons crossing the border must take into account the 14-day movement restriction in both Estonia and Russia. It is not possible to commute to work and back across the border.


Last updated: 18 September 2020