COVID-19 Information (May 18)

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This information was updated on May 18, 2020

The Department of State has issued a  Global Level 4 Health Advisory  advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. \

  • Country-Specific Information:
    • On March 12, the Estonian Government declared an Emergency Situation in connection to COVID-19. The Emergency Situation officially ended on May 18, however some restrictions remain in place.  Up to date information can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s Webpage and on the Estonian Health Board’s English-language page.
    • Anyone in Estonia who thinks they have symptoms, should ask for advice by calling their family physician or the family physician advisory line, 1220, or call 112 for an ambulance. If you have general questions about the virus, you can call the Estonian Alarm Center’s COVID-19 Helpline at 1247, which is in operation 24/7.
    • The Estonian Government has established a mandatory quarantine for all individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and those living with and in close contact with the infected individuals.
    • The Estonian Government has taken the following measures.
      • No more than two people are legally allowed to gather inside or outside, except for families and those performing public duties.  All people need to maintain two meters of distance from one another in public spaces. This is referred to as the “2+2” distancing requirement. This requirement remains in force after the end of the Emergency Situation on May 18.
      • All public cafes and restaurants must enforce social distancing guidelines and close no later than 10 pm each evening except for take-away purchases.  Alcohol sales are prohibited between 10 pm and 10 am.
      • Outdoor exercise areas may open on May 2 if the proprietor guarantees disinfection of equipment every four hours.  The Tallinn City Government will begin progressively opening outdoor gyms, stadiums, playgrounds, skate parks, and dog walking areas on May 11.  Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will be fully disinfected and opened over the following week.
      • Beginning May 2, adult open-air sports activities and training sessions may resume for groups of ten or less.  Beginning May 5, adult sports teams may resume indoor training.  The “2+2” distancing requirements must be followed, disinfectants must be available for use, and all sports equipment must be regularly disinfected.
      • Beginning May 2, open air museums and outdoor spaces of museums will open for visitors.  Visitors must continue to adhere to the “2+2” distancing requirements and disinfectants must be available for use.
      • Beginning May 10, public church services and other religious services may resume as long as the “2+2” social distancing requirements are followed and disinfectants are available for use.
      • Beginning May 11, shopping centers may reopen shops, as well as service points, restaurants, and catering establishments.  The “2+2” social distancing requirements must be maintained and disinfectants must be readily available for use by consumers and staff.  Leisure facilities within shopping centers, including cinemas, bowling alleys, children’s playrooms, and casinos, will remain closed.
      • Beginning May 11, indoor museums may reopen to the public provided they can maintain the “2+2” social distancing requirements.  Interactive exhibits, such as touch screens, will not be permitted.
      • Beginning May 15, in-person learning may resume at educational institutions in groups of no more than 10 students plus one instructor.  Tallinn public schools will be limited to contact groups with a maximum of five students. The “2+2” distancing requirements must be maintained.
      • Beginning May 18, gyms and fitness clubs will reopen with social distancing measures in place.
      • Beginning June 1, some leisure and entertainment establishments may reopen including bowling alleys, indoor children’s playrooms, saunas, swimming pools, water centers, and spas, provided a 50% maximum capacity is allowed on the premises.
      • Nightclubs, casinos and slot machine arcades, water pipe cafes, and adult clubs remain closed.
      • All public events are prohibited until June 30. Exceptions are granted for events where all visitors can remain in their cars.
      • Beginning July 1, public events including movies, performances, concerts, conferences, fairs, festivals, and sporting competitions without spectators may resume provided “2+2” distancing is observed and facilities are filled to no more than 50% capacity.
    • The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board has issued this information granting legal basis for the temporary stay in Estonia for foreigners who are unable to return home due to the COVID-19 emergency situation; exceptions apply. You may also contact us at acstallinn@state.gov if you have any questions on your residency status in Estonia.
    • An amendment to the Aliens Act has passed through the Riigikogu and has been entered into law by the Estonian Parliament. The amendment requires non-EU foreigners with expired short-term work permits to depart Estonia as soon as possible. This amendment does not impact individuals holding temporary residence permits. If current emergency border closures prevent departure, impacted individuals may temporarily remain in Estonia but must depart within 10 days of the emergency situation being lifted. Agricultural workers on short-term work permits will be granted the option of extending their work permit until July 31, 2020.
    • The Estonian Health Board and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued similar recommendations encouraging the use of face masks in public places, particularly in areas where it is difficult to follow social distancing guidelines such as grocery stores and public transportation.  The full CDC announcement can be found here.  The Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority has issued these instructions on how to make a homemade cloth mask.
    • The Estonian Health Board has created an online questionnaire to assist individuals in determining their risk of COVID-19 infection, and then provide personalized recommendations.  Data collected will also aid the Health Board in assessing and predicting further disease spread within Estonia.  The questionnaire can be completed at https://coronatest.ee.
    • The Estonian Health Board has confirmed a gradual restoration of scheduled medical treatments beginning April 21 in most parts of Estonia. Easing of restrictions will commence with specialist and dental appointments. All medical institutions and patients will be required to follow strict infection control measures during appointments. More information can be found on the Estonian Health Board website.
  • Entry and Exit Requirements:
    • The Government of Estonia has reintroduced strict border controls in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. Only citizens of Estonia and holders of Estonian residency permit or right of residence, as well as foreign citizens whose family member lives in Estonia, are allowed entry.
    • The prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have agreed on a plan to reopen the borders of the three Baltic States beginning May 15.  Individuals with citizenship, residence permits, and permanent place of residence in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will be allowed to cross national borders between the three countries provided they are free of any COVID-19 symptoms. No obligatory quarantine will be required, however local guidance and containment measures must be followed.  Individuals returning to Estonia from third countries, using Latvia or Lithuania as transit countries will still be required to quarantine upon arrival.
    • Effective May 14, border crossing between Estonia and Finland, in both directions, has been restored for employment activities and for essential family visits. Residents of Finland may also travel to Estonia if they are studying at an Estonian educational institution.  Border checks will continue at all points of entry and proof of the trip purpose must be provided. Travelers must avoid all non-essential contact and should voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days. Commuting to work and visits to pharmacies and shops are still permitted during this time provided local hygiene and “2+2” distancing regulations are observed.
    • Border crossing for tourism, in either direction between Estonia and Finland, is not permitted at this time.
    • At this time, foreigners are allowed to transit Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. This includes entering at the southern border with Latvia and driving to Tallinn Airport. At the border control, travel documents and medical symptoms will be checked.
    • There are no legal restrictions on exiting Estonia.
    • FLIGHTS: Passenger flights from Tallinn Airport continue to remain extremely limited.  Currently, Lufthansa flies from Tallinn to Frankfurt three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This flight arrives in Germany after onward flights for the United States have departed and travelers are required to stay in the airport transfer zone until their onward flight the next day. One airport transit hotel, “My Cloud,” is available for travelers in transit status.
    • Flights from Tallinn airport to Helsinki on Finnair have resumed.  Schedules can be confirmed on the airline website.
    • Americans interested in departing Estonia for the United States are encouraged to look at the contact information for airlines at Tallinn Airport here, and to write us at acstallinn@state.gov.
    • FERRIES: Due to new restrictions from Finnish authorities, effective April 11, all passenger traffic on ferries from Tallinn to Helsinki is currently suspended.  Ferry traffic will continue only for freight and cargo transportation.  Passenger ferry service from Tallinn to Helsinki will resume on May 14 for workers with contracts in Finland. Please see here for more information on Finnish entry restrictions.
    • Additional information on these restrictions can be found here: https://vm.ee/en/coronavirus-2019-ncov.
    • Please note: Estonia’s neighboring countries of FinlandRussia, and Latvia have restricted entry into their countries.
  • Quarantine Information:
    • If a case is identified, the individual will be put in isolation. The Health Board will reach out to those who were possibly in close contact with an affected individual, and advise them to limit their social engagements.  If possible, people who were potentially exposed to the virus are encouraged to voluntarily quarantine themselves at home and continuously monitor their own health.
  • American Citizen Services:
    • The Department of State has suspended domestic printing of all routine passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Americans overseas may still apply for passports and CRBAs, however printing full-validity books will not occur until further notice.
    • The U.S. Embassy Tallinn can issue limited-validity passports for adults and minors.  Emergency passports can later be converted to a full-validity passport without additional fees.  Please contact us at acstallinn@state.gov for assistance.
    • The U.S. Embassy Tallinn remains available to assist with other American Citizen Services as needed.  Please email acstallinn@state.gov if you require assistance.
    • U.S. Citizens seeking information on the CARES Act, including stimulus checks for individuals and assistance for small business owners, are encouraged to visit the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payment site for more information.