On 22 May 2020, eleven European Union and Schengen Member States met via video conference to reach an agreement concerning the lifting of restrictions placed on travel between Member States.
The rules regarding travel in the Schengen Area range widely from nation to nation.
The Republic of Estonia’s Ministry of the Interior announced in a press release 29 May 2020 that the country will “admit people with no symptoms arriving from the European Union, the members of the Schengen area or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” beginning 1 June 2020.
There will be a compulsory quarantine in effect for travelers that depends on their native country’s infection rate. If a passenger is coming from a nation whose infection exceeds 15 infected people per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days, then they will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. The quarantine policy differs from other nations that have made 14-day isolations mandatory for all incoming travelers. Others still have no policy in place regarding isolations.
Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Urmas Reinsalu, stated that “we are currently working on an alternative so that if a person can produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 virus test or is tested at an Estonian airport, for example, it would be possible to shorten the quarantine time.”
The move may help Estonians as well as other Schengen residents to return to relatively normal standards of travel and tourism not seen since before the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
“I think that the possibility of testing to release Estonian citizens from quarantine, if they arrive from Germany, for example, would give objective confidence and certainty that the person is not infected,” Reinsalu said.
As of the writing of this article, there have been 1,859 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Estonia. There are currently 93 active cases according to Estonia’s Health Board. At this point there have been 67 deaths. On 05 April 2020, the nation reached its highest number of active cases up to this point with 753 being considered active. On that day, there had been 1,146 confirmed cases and 21 deaths. With a decline in the number of active cases and COVID-19 infected patients in ICU the government of Estonia is seeking to reopen its economy and attempt to make life somewhat normal for their people.
More information about the virus in Estonia can be found on the nation’s Health Board website at https://www.terviseamet.ee/en where daily updates are published and a Corona tracker can be found on the “Koroonakaart” website. https://koroonakaart.ee/en
The Estonian government recommends their Foreign Ministry’s “Reisi Targalt” site at https://reisitargalt.vm.ee/ for more information regarding travel lockdowns and quarantine requirements.