Estonia, often known as the country of forests and islands, receives a large number of visitors every year; However, it has kept its doors closed to all but essential travel once the coronavirus pandemic spreads in Europe.
Last year, the northeastern European country saw 1.97 million visitors who stayed in the country’s accommodation establishments, or a 48 percent drop compared to 2019 figures. This decline was due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that prevented many travelers from visiting the country for non-profit purposes. necessary.
Last year, the virus prevented international visitors from entering the Baltic country and freely camping in its forests or exploring the amazing nature of this region, which mainly attracts nature lovers.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the Baltic state has recorded more than 196,900 cases and more than 1,500 deaths.
However, some exemptions apply to foreigners who plan to enter the Baltic state despite these figures published by the World Health Organization. At the same time, non-essential travel, including tourism, is also allowed, provided that passengers meet specific entry rules.
Who can enter Estonia amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Although the authorities in Estonia continue to maintain their entry rules and other restrictions in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus and its new strains, all people who fall into any of the following categories are allowed to travel to Estonia without being subject to entry restrictions upon arrival:
People who have recovered from the coronavirus, and it has not been more than 180 days since they tested positive for the virus. Persons who have completed the vaccination process with any of the valid vaccines approved for use and not more than a year has passed since the date of completion. Minors traveling with their parents or accompanying persons are exempted from the mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement. People who need to pass through Estonia to reach their destination. Persons who are employees of a diplomatic mission or consulate of another country or Estonia or are members of a family who hold an Estonia diplomatic passport. Persons who need to travel to Estonia in order to transport goods and raw materials, including loading goods or raw materials, and need to enter that country to perform their duties. People who need to travel to the Baltic state in order to provide health care or other services needed to deal with an emergency.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that all persons allowed to enter this country are not obligated to follow the test and quarantine requirements if they arrived in Estonia for up to 24 hours as a tourist and obtained a negative PCR test result, no older than 72 hours, or a PCR test result of no more than about 48 hours.
Are travelers from the EU/EEA subject to entry restrictions?
The authorities in Estonia continue to classify other countries into green, yellow and red groups, taking into account the epidemiological situation in them.
Currently, the green list, travelers who have been exempted from the testing and quarantine rules, includes the following areas:
Holy See, Italy, Malta, Spain
Estonia’s yellow list, which consists of countries with medium risk in terms of COVID-19 case, includes the following regions:
Andorra Cyprus Finland France Germany Monaco Norway Poland Portugal San Marino Sweden Switzerland
Citizens of the above-mentioned countries are required to submit a negative coronavirus test result upon arrival in the Baltic states.
As for the red list that includes the countries most affected by the Corona virus and its new strains, it currently consists of the following regions:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Czechia Croatia Denmark Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Lithuania Liechtenstein Luxembourg Latvia Netherlands Romania Slovakia Slovenia United Kingdom
Travelers from Red List countries are subject to testing and self-isolation requirements when planning to travel to Estonia.
However, Estonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified that all people who have completed the coronavirus immunization process will not be required to follow entry rules such as testing or quarantine when traveling to Estonia.
Are travelers from non-EU/Schengen countries allowed to enter Estonia?
The authorities in Estonia have confirmed that travelers from other countries listed in Annex 1 will be allowed to travel to Estonia for non-essential purposes, including tourism without being subject to testing and quarantine requirements, as per the EU Council recommendation:
Argentina Bahrain Qatar Colombia Kuwait South Korea Namibia Peru Rwanda
In addition, the ministry explained that travelers from the following countries will also be allowed to enter Estonia; However, they will be required to follow the mandatory ten-day quarantine requirements:
Australia Canada Chile Jordan Singapore Ukraine Test and quarantine requirements
Authorities in Estonia have clarified that pre- and post-entry testing and a ten-day quarantine period are mandatory for all passengers arriving in the country from areas with an infection rate higher than 200 cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks.
Therefore, travelers from countries not included in Annex I are obligated to follow the mandatory test and the ten-day self-isolation rule. However, the quarantine period can be shortened if they take a second COVID-19 test on the sixth day of their arrival, and the result is negative.
However, authorities in Estonia have made clear that vaccinated travelers are not obligated to follow testing and quarantine requirements upon arrival.
“The test and quarantine requirement does not apply to people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the past 12 months, or who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days and who have been declared healthy by a physician,” the statement explains.
What vaccines are approved for use in Estonia?
Estonia has become one of the first countries within the European Union to start issuing the EU Digital COVID-19 document in order to facilitate the travel process for all its citizens wishing to visit the European Union and the Schengen area.
The authorities in Estonia have made it clear that they accept vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, each EU member state can decide whether it wants to allow entry to foreigners who have been vaccinated with any of the vaccines not approved by the EMA.
Currently, the vaccines recognized by the EMA are Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer), and Moderna, Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca, Oxford).
What to expect when visiting Estonia?
The visit to Estonia also confirmed that travelers from other countries are also allowed to enter this country if they have completed their vaccination process.
“We welcome you from all over the world without any restrictions if you have been fully vaccinated and no more than 12 months have passed. No tests, no isolation. Any type of vaccine can be acceptable in your country, just take the COVID certificate with you and go on the road,” the statement read. published by Visit Estonia.
Travelers with valid proof that they have received a full vaccination against the virus are allowed to eat in restaurants, visit spas and events, and visit all the tourist attractions that this country has to offer.
The government of Estonia has announced that from November 1, the country will impose new restrictions on COVID-19. Additionally, according to the announcement, recreational facilities will be closed at 11pm and minors will be required to show covid passes while certificates will also be checked against ID.
Estonia travel insurance
Citizens of other countries interested in visiting Estonia are urged to purchase travel insurance packages for protection amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel insurance will help passengers save most of their money if their flight is canceled due to COVID-19 or other specific reasons.
In Estonia, travel insurance can be purchased at a reasonable price from AXA Assistance, Europ Assistance or MondialCare.
The current situation of COVID-19 in Estonia
According to figures published by the World Health Organization (WHO), Estonia has recorded a total of 19,951 cases of COVID-19 and 1,550 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
The same source shows that in the past 24 hours, the Baltic State recorded a total of 1,569 new cases of the emerging coronavirus and its new strains, while a total of 10 people died during the same period.
Based on figures provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), a total of 80.3 percent of the adult population in Estonia has been fully vaccinated so far.
Note: This article was originally published on September 7. Since then, it has been constantly updated with the latest changes. The last changes to the article were made on November 3, in line with the latest updates from the Estonian authorities.