TALLINN – The Estonian government has decided to restrict crossing of the Schengen internal and external border temporarily and reintroduce border controls in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The government also supported the order of Prime Minister Juri Ratas as the person in charge of emergency situation that specifies the rules of border crossing.
"To stop the spread of coronavirus and protect public health, the government has decided to temporarily reintroduce border controls on the whole border," Ratas said.
"All residents of Estonia and their next of kin can return to Estonia. We will ensure necessary transport for goods and raw materials, as long as the transporters show no symptoms of illness," the prime minister added. "There is a sufficient food supply in Estonia, both in commercial warehouses and in state reserves. There is no need to worry about shortage of food and daily supplies. It's reasonable to buy only as much as needed."
Only citizens of Estonia and holders of Estonian residency permit or right of residence, among them the so-called grey passport holders, can enter Estonia, as well as foreign citizens whose family member lives in Estonia.
International cargo, including food and medical supplies transport, can enter the country, as well as persons providing vital services, like fuel providers.
Foreigners are allowed to transit Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19.
At the border control, travel documents and medical symptoms will be checked.
The border control will be reintroduced from March 17, 2020. The Cabinet meeting also supported the requirement of a two-week quarantine for everyone entering the country. The government recommends to avoid travel to other countries that might also implement quarantine measures.
There are no restrictions for exiting the country.
The temporary restriction of border crossing will be in force until decided otherwise and the necessity will be reviewed every two weeks.
Estonian residents who are having trouble returning home from abroad are advised to contact the consular assistance emergency helpline +372 53 01 9999.
The order to reintroduce border control on the whole border will be adopted by the government at an e-session on Sunday.