Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Estonia makes coronavirus disease testing available at airports and ports from Sept. 1. Most businesses operating, disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 02 Sep 2020 12:55 PM UTC
Alert Expires 16 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Summary
As of Sept. 1, authorities in Estonia have made coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing available for arrivals from high-risk countries in order to reduce mandatory self-isolation periods. Testing facilities are available at Tallinn Airport (TLL) and the port of Tallinn; arrivals via land can arrange an appointment at any testing site within 1-2 days of arrival. Arrivals from high-risk areas must remain in complete self-isolation until the results of the test are known. If a negative result is returned, individuals must remain in limited self-isolation until a second test has been taken, no less than seven days after the first. If a negative result is confirmed, individuals are no longer required to self-isolate. Estonia defines high-risk countries as those where new COVID-19 cases exceed 16 per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period; authorities regularly update the official list of such locations.

Previously, authorities allowed individuals from all EU and Schengen Area countries, as well as the UK, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, to enter Estonia for any reason, though many of these countries are also designated as high-risk. Most travel from all other countries remains prohibited, except for Estonian citizens and their immediate families and persons traveling for urgent business or academic reasons and who possess official permission.

Domestically, authorities have permitted most businesses and facilities to resume operation provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Most venues are limited to operate at 50 percent of their capacity, with a maximum of 500 people for indoor venues and 1,000 for outdoor venues. All persons must comply with social distancing standards of 2 meters (6 feet) wherever possible. While protective face coverings are not mandatory in Estonia, the government does recommend their use in enclosed public spaces.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

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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