Estonian govt approves common EU travel restrictions

  • 2021-01-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The government on Thursday endorsed the opinions of Estonia as regards the recommendations of the Council of the European Union on a coordinated approach for temporary restriction of non-essential travel, in order to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.

The aim of the proposals of the Council of the European Union is to restrict, due to the spread of COVID-19, non-essential travel both within the EU as well as travel originating from third countries, the government's press service said. These concern, for instance, the requirement to test before travel and upon arrival, as well as the requirement for self-isolation. 

The proposal concerning travel within the EU calls for the creation of a new category of high-risk area with more than 500 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days, marked with dark red.

Preventing the spread of the virus, protecting the health of citizens and preserving movement within the EU on safe terms are paramount in order for it to be possible to continue reinvigorating the EU economy in a safe manner, the government said.

In a situation where more active spread of mutated strains of the virus is causing concern for governments and in order to not again arrive at the need to close borders, as was the case last spring, states need a joint and coordinated approach as to how to more effectively restrict the cross-border spread of the virus.

New criteria will start to apply to arrivals from third countries. In accordance with the changed regulations, member states must, when it comes to essential and non-essential travel alike, with the exception of transport and cross-border workers, require a negative PCR test result before travel and staying in self-isolation if necessary. 

The ambassadors of EU member states are to discuss the Council's recommendations on Jan. 29.