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Travelling to Estonia - foreigners

Can a foreigner enter Estonia?

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

From 1 January, people who are travelling to Estonia from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, need to test for SARS-CoV-2 at least 72 hours before the start of the trip, and are obliged to remain in their place of residence or place of permanent stay for 10 calendar days upon arrival to Estonia. The obligation to test does not extend to children under 12 years of age. People who arrive to Estonia from the UK and who are unable to test for coronavirus 72 hours before the trip due to a short notice period, can test immediately upon arrival in Estonia. To reduce the 10-day self-isolation period, the second test must be carried out no earlier than the sixth day after the first test. Both tests must be negative.

The obligation to self-isolate for 10 calendar days when returning from other countries to Estonia:

  • all persons showing symptoms of the disease.

  • people returning to Estonia from the countries with high COVID-19 risk or who have travelled through an at-risk country.

  • All persons entering Estonia who started their journey from a country, or travelled through a country where there is no data on the infection rates.

  • third-country nationals who are not included in the EU joint list of third countries (including, for example, the Russian Federation and Ukraine).

Information about at-risk countries and self-isolation requirements for people arriving in Estonia is available at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Returning to Estonia from the countries at-risk from COVID-19 which are member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and the Schengen Area, then people without any symptoms of the disease can reduce their 10-day self-isolation period, need to test for coronavirus no earlier than 72 hours before arrival. The second test can then be carried out in Estonia not earlier than on the sixth day after the first test. The period of six days will be calculated from the day following the first test. The isolation can be terminated early if the results of both tests are negative.

If the first test result is negative, the person may leave their home 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 as no other option is available.

  5. when they go 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.

People who have had their first test in another country (i.e. not at the border) must call to the call centre for people crossing the border 678 0000 (Monday to Friday 9pm to 5pm).

People arriving from the third countries which are not included in the EU joint list of third countries (including, for example, the Russian Federation and Ukraine) need to remain in self-isolation for 10 days when returning to Estonia to work or study, and need to take two test (first upon arrival to Estonia, second no sooner than on the sixth day). Third country nationals do not have a possibility to reduce their self-isolation period.

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

As an exception, the following foreign nationals who do not have symptoms of the disease may enter Estonia:

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

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

  • members of a foreign delegation arriving in Estonia for a work meeting at the invitation of a state authority or local government authority,

  • 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,

  • 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 application for permission to cross the border in exceptional circumstances can be found on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board:.

  • The person arriving in Estonia can complete the electronic health declaration for crossing the border 24 hours before their arrival to Estonia. By doing so, the crossing of the border will be faster, and they do not have to wait in order to fill in a paper declaration.

Possibilities for testing for coronavirus upon arrival to Estonia.

As of September 1, people returning to Estonia from countries at-risk from COVID-19 can get tested at airports and harbours in order to reduce their self-isolation period so they can return to work earlier. Testing is free of charge for Estonian residents, and foreigner nationals can pay with a card on-site. Testing can be carried out at the Port of Tallinn, Terminals A and D for foot passengers, and at the Tallinn Airport based on a letter of referral, which will be available on the spot.

People arriving from at-risk country by train or by road transportation can book their test in advance. People with symptoms are tested in Estonia as a priority. Therefore, the waiting list will be 1-2 days, so it would be recommended to book your test in advance when you know your time of arrival.

The test can be carried out in public testing places across Estonia.

Foreigner nationals can take a coronavirus test for a fee to reduce their self-isolation period. To book their testing time, they must contact the service providers who offer testing for a fee.

People are required to self-isolate completely until they receive their test results. If the test result is negative, the information will be provided as a SMS text-message, if the test result is positive, you will receive a phone call. The test results are available at the Health Portal digilugu.ee when accessing it with an ID-card. If the test result is negative then the person must stay in limited self-isolation for the first seven days, which means that they can go to work and do their shopping but they must avoid unnecessary contacts. At work they need to keep distance from other people. 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. This means that after two negative tests results, a 10-day restriction on freedom of movement will not apply to people arriving from at-risk countries who have not had the test. To book a time for the second test, the person will receive a call from the public testing call centre. The at-risk country is considered to be a country where the infection rate of coronavirus is 50 cases per 100 000 people or higher.

Until the result of the test are returned, the person must be in complete self-isolation. Negative results are notified to the person via text message, when the results are positive, the person will receive a phone call, the result are also accessible when entering the health information system digilugu.ee with the ID card. If the test result is negative, the first six days the person must remain in limited self-isolation, ie you can go to work and, for example, to a store, but unnecessary contacts must be avoided. You should also keep your distance from others while at work. A second test must be performed no earlier than 6 days after the result of the first test, and if it is negative, it is possible to return to regular activities. This means that a person is not subject to a 10-day restriction on freedom of movement after two negative tests, which applies to all those coming from high-risk countries who do not take the test. To book a time for a second test, a call will be made from the public testing call centre. A country at-risk from coronavirus infection is defined as a country with 50 or more cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants.

Additional information: www.terviseamet.ee, National Crisis Information Phone No: +372 600 1247.

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: https://vm.ee/et/teave-riikide-ja-karantiininouete-kohta-euroopast-saabujatele (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: https://www.kriis.ee/et/reisimine-eestisse-valisriikide-kodanikud

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), be able to cross the Estonian-Russian border for work purposes, as an exception?

When crossing the border, the requirements and self-isolation rules need to be taken into account.

Persons with Russian residence permits or Russian citizenship residing on the territory of the European Union may travel to Russia once a month. You can enter Russia under exceptional circumstances regarding which information can be obtained from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When travelling to Russia, you must present the result of the coronavirus test or take a test and observe the 10-day self-isolation obligation.

Travelling from Russia to Estonia is permitted if you come to Estonia to work or study, and if you have no symptoms of the disease. When entering Estonia to work or study, 10-day self- isolation period must be observed, which means that the employer or educational institution ensures:

transportation for the employee or the student, and the possibility to remain in self-isolation (10 days) as of the date of arrival to Estonia the employee or the student tests for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival and re-tests not earlier than the 10th day of their arrival in Estonia the employee shall not enter into employment or commence their studies during the first 6 days from arrival to Estonia the employee may start working and studying on the 11th day of their stay, provided that their second coronavirus COVID-19 test is negative.

Additional information on crossing the Estonian-Russian state border is available on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board: https://www.politsei.ee/et/juhend/eriolukord/piirangud-eesti-venemaa-piiril, and on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Reisi Targalt website: https://reisitargalt.vm.ee/riigid/venemaa/.

Information on the conditions and exceptions to travel to Russia is available from the Russian Embassy in Estonia, on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on the hotlines: +7 (495) 587 8860, +7 (499) 244 1977, +7 (499) 244 1988, +7 (499) 244 2847.

 

Last updated: 18 September 2020