Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Estonia eases further COVID-19-related restrictions from June 1. Significant business and travel disruptions remain.

This alert affects Estonia

This alert began 01 Jun 2020 15:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Estonian authorities announce further easing of restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from June 1. As of this date, travelers from the EU, Schengen Area, and the UK and Ireland are permitted to enter Estonia, provided they display no symptoms of COVID-19. Authorities will monitor disease activity in these countries and every week will publish a list where cases of COVID-19 do not exceed 15 per 100,00 for a continuous period of 14 days; travelers from these countries will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers from all other locations are subject to mandatory 14-day self-isolation. Previously, authorities in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania established a "Baltic Travel Bubble," enabling citizens and residents from these three countries to travel between them without restriction. Freight transporters, essential workers, and security forces are exempt from the restrictions.

Additionally, authorities are increasing the limit on indoor events from 50 to 100 people in conjunction with allowing indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and casinos to reopen under these limits. Previous measures relaxed most restrictions on movement and businesses, provided strict social distancing and hygiene requirements are followed.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Estonian government correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to decreasing COVID-19 activity. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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