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Travelling to Estonia - foreigners

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

As an exception, the following asymptomatic foreign nationals 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: (in Estonian).

  • The person arriving in Estonia can complete traveller's questionnaire 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia. This will make the border crossing faster, and they do not have to wait in line 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 foreign nationals can make a card payment on-site. The test can be done 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 made out on the spot.

  • People arriving from an at-risk country by train or by road transportation can book their test as a person coming from a trip. Estonia tests people with symptoms 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 done in public testing places across Estonia.

  • Foreign nationals can do a paid coronavirus test to reduce their self-isolation period. To book their testing time, they must call the phone numbers of the service providers who offer paid testing.

  • Until the results 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 results are also accessible when entering the Patient Portal digilugu.ee with an ID card. 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 after two negative tests, the person is not subject to the 10 day movement restriction that applies to all those who arrive from at-risk countries and do not do the test. The public testing call centre will call the person tested in order to arrange the time of the second test. A country is considered to be at-risk if the coronavirus infection rate there is 50 cases per 100,000 people or higher.

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

Starting from February 2, there is a derogation from having to self-isolate as a close contact for people who have been vaccinated against or had the coronavirus within the last six months. As an exception, the requirement to stay in a place of residence or a permanent place of stay for 10 days, as well as the testing requirements do not apply to a person who crosses the border into Estonia and has had the coronavirus within the past six months and been declared recovered by a doctor, or has been vaccinated against the coronavirus within the past six months. This person must still adhere to the restrictions in force in Estonia and follow all measures that have been enacted to stop the spread of the virus.

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.

Does a person coming to Estonia for study or work have to do a corona test, and when?

The corona test is not obligatory as such but would make it possible to reduce the 10 day self-isolation obligation and is recommended in any case. The movement restriction that is applied to a person arriving in Estonia depends on whether the European country from which the person is arriving has a coronavirus infection rate that is higher than 150. If the infection rate is lower, there is no obligation to restrict one's movements; if it is higher, the obligation exists. If the person arrives from outside Europe, the movement restriction generally applies.

Information on states and movement restrictions for people arriving from Europe is located on the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs https://vm.ee/en/information-countries-and-self-isolation-requirements-passengers. The list is renewed every Friday, valid from the following Monday. A person who arrives from an at-risk country and does not do the tests has to restrict his movements for 10 days.

The moment of doing the test depends on several factors:

  • The citizens, residents, resident permit and long-term visa holders of Estonia and the European Economic Area may do the first test up to 72 hours before arrival. In Estonia it is possible to do the second test no sooner than on the sixth day after the first test was done abroad. If the results of both tests are negative, the person is released from the 10 day self-isolation obligation.
  • Persons who have not done the test up to 72 hours before arriving in Estonia may do the first test in Estonia immediately after entering the country, and the second test no sooner than six days after doing the first test. The 10 day self-isolation may be ended before the deadline if the results of both tests are negative.
  • The citizens of third countries arriving from a third country (that is not on the list) who come here to work or study must do both tests in Estonia. However, if the abovementioned citizens are, for instance, coming to visit a relative who lives in Estonia, they may do the test 72 hours before arriving in Estonia.

There is no obligation to do the test if a person has had COVID-19 and has been declared recovered by a doctor within six months before arrival, or if a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the course of vaccinations was finished no more than 12 months earlier.

Staying in self-isolation means that the person is not allowed to leave their place of residence within 10 days, except on the order of a healthcare worker or a police official, or for unavoidable trips. For instance, it is allowed to leave home if your life is in danger, or you need medical aid, have to renew your food stocks, buy essential goods or medicines, or to spend time in fresh air. In all these cases you need to avoid contact with other people. For this reason it is not allowed to go to work or to a crowded forest path. It is, however, allowed to be outside, for instance to go for a run or a bike ride, if you can do this without coming into contact with others.

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: 3 June 2021