COVID-19 and travelling to Estonia

Source: Brand Estonia

COVID-19 and travelling to Estonia

Travel status update

Estonia admits people with no Covid-19 symptoms arriving from the European Union, the members of the Schengen area or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as from a small number of countries outside this area - but quarantine requirements may apply.

From September 1 foreigners can also have a COVID-19 test done for a fee in order to shorten their self-isolation (the general 14-day self-isolation obligation). Coronavirus test results from before arriving to Estonia are not accepted. All contact with other people must be avoided while waiting for the test results, which can take up to 48 hours. Pre-booking for COVID-19 test can be made via phone +372 678 0000.

Detailed information on countries, self-isolation and testing requirements for passengers can be read from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From Monday, 19 October - in situations where the infection rate of countries is higher than 1.1x the Estonian average, or above 50, a person is allowed to come to Estonia from Latvia, Lithuania or Finland without the self-isolation obligation, if the person has taken a coronavirus test within 48 hours before arriving to Estonia, and the result of the test has been negative. At that, it must be taken into account that the person must not have travelled outside the Baltic states or Finland in the past two weeks.

When travelling from Estonia to Latvia, Lithuania or Finland, and returning to Estonia, a person may take the coronavirus test in the home country as well, and in the event of a negative result, they may return to their normal life. Until the test result is known, a person must remain in self-isolation.

When arriving from Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, the exception will remain in effect, in the case of which a person travelling to Estonia is not required to remain in self-isolation or to take a test in five cases: they are coming to Estonia to work, study, visit a health care institution, in the case of unavoidable family events, or for the purpose of transit.

Border control

  • At the border crossing points, i.e. ports, airports and checkpoints at Russian land borders, the travel documents and medical symptoms are checked. Border control personnel have legal rights to deny entering for persons who show symptoms of COVID-19, i.e. to deport them back to the country of arrival. A person entering Estonia from a country to which the quarantine requirements apply will have to provide the Police and Border Guard Board their address and confirm that they will remain at their place of stay for 14 days.
  • Foreigners are allowed to transit Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. The detailed information on this so called "humanitarian corridor" is provided by border control officials.
  • There are no restrictions for exiting the country.

International connections

Several countries in Europe as well as around Estonia have imposed restrictions on entry and/or international passenger traffic, and several ferry and flight operators have reduced their operations in and out of Estonia. See the latest info on websites of Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line. There are several international flights from Tallinn airport, up to date flight information on Tallinn Airport website.

Read also useful tips about travel here and around.

Facts for individual tourists and travel professionals about travelling to Estonia

1. It is safe in Estonia.

The government has established requirements on which the Health Board's guidelines for various companies providing tourism services are based. The most important among these is a requirement for people to keep safe distance (2 + 2) to each other when and where possible. Reception and cashier desks are often equipped with physical protection screens.

2. Wearing a mask or to cover one's nose and mouth in public indoor spaces is obligatory.

An obligation to wear a mask or to cover one's nose and mouth is introduced in public indoor spaces, including public transport and service points. This obligation does not apply to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, special needs, the nature of work or activity, or other important reasons.

3. Medical care in Estonia is available and professional.

During the virus spreading period, medical care in Estonia has been effectively organized, and the capacity of hospitals or their ICUs has never been exceeded. Today, both the treatment of those infected with the virus and the usual scheduled patients are working as planned.

4. You can come to Estonia with a group, but...

There is no specific ban on travelling for groups. However, restrictions on the consumption of services must be taken into account, the main requirement being the dispersion rule in public places. Therefore in some cases, there can be restrictions on the number of simultaneous visitors in tourist attractions.

5. Estonian tourism companies are hospitable.

Restaurants, museums, spas and attractions are open and welcoming visitors, with precaution methods and processes in place - to ensure, that people are and feel safe.

6. There is a special app to protect your health.

With the HOIA mobile app, you can quickly find out about possible close contact with a COVID-19 infected person, allowing you to take steps to protect your own health and the health of others.

About main services and attractions

Shops and services

There may be no more people than the 50% capacity of a given space in indoor sales areas and public spaces of stores and service areas of service providers. At that, people must also adhere to the 2+2 rule, i.e., only up to two people may travel together, and they must keep a two-metre distance from other people.

Spas, playrooms & other such attractions  

Hence June 1, saunas, spas, swimming pools, water centres, as well as leisure-time establishments such as bowling, billiards, and playrooms for children have been open. The requirement for not exceeding 50% of visitor capacity, for carrying out regular disinfection and for dispersion must be compiled according to the instructions of the Health Board.

Night-time entertainment establishments

Hence June 1, casinos and arcades have been open again, but establishments must comply with the max. 50% visitor capacity requirement. In addition, disinfectants must be available for staff and clients. On July 1, the government allowed also nightclubs, hookah i.e. waterpipe bars and other adult entertainment clubs to reopen. These entertainment venues serve the public hence beginning of August on the condition that operators ensure the appropriate dispersion, a maximum visitor capacity of 50% as well as following the strict disinfection requirements. 

Restaurants and bars

Hence June 1, catering establishments have been allowed to host visitors, serve food and sell alcohol. The dispersion requirement must be observed and disinfectants must be made available for the clients.

Public events

Up to 400 people can take part in an indoors public event with stationary seating; otherwise, up to 250 people are allowed. For outdoor events, the maximum number of participants is 500 (unless a special permission is granted by the Health Board together with local governmental unit and The Government's working committee). Disinfectants must be provided and the dispersion requirement must be followed.
NB! In Harju and Ida-Viru County there is an additional restriction – 50% occupancy limit in indoor halls with stationary seating, such as theatres, cinemas, concert venues as well churches, and public events, public meetings, and entertainment activities.

The restriction of 50% occupancy is still in force for all such premises, that do not provide stationary seating places for all members of the audience. Additionally in order to limit the risk of contagion, visitors must be distributed at entrances and exits, bathrooms, leisure areas, and other more popular gathering places.

Moreover, the government advises the organisers of both indoor and outdoor events to turn to the Health Board for recommendations on additional measures to prevent the spreading of the disease; the Health Board can then monitor the event and advise its organisers.

  • Catering and entertainment establishments must close their doors to visitors from 22.00 to 6 a.m. Private parties there are not allowed either. Take-away food sales and purchases are allowed. Selling alcohol is prohibited till 10.00 a.m. Cultural institutions with stationary seats, such as theatres, cinemas, and concert halls, may keep their doors open to customers past midnight.
  • In the sales and service halls of catering establishments and in entertainment and cultural establishments, such as theatres, cinemas, concerts, nightclubs, etc., where groups of up to 10 people are allowed and a distance of at least two metres must be kept with others (the 10 + 2 rule).The restriction applies to places outside of seating areas. In other words, it does not apply when you are sitting in your seat in a theatre or cinema. The restriction does not apply to the local staff. There is also an exception for families, which means that people in the same family can move together regardless of the size of the family.

Sports competitions

The organiser of sports competitions must ensure the dispersion of people and compliance with the 50% occupancy requirement indoors. The maximum number of participants in the event may not exceed 250 people indoors and no more than 500 people outdoors. The 50% occupancy requirement and 250 people limit do not apply to professional and semi-professional sports activities carried out in the sports systems of sports governing bodies. In addition to adults, they also do not apply to youth sports, i.e. athletes and teams who participate in Estonian title competitions organised by sports governing bodies.

Museums and exhibitions

For museums and exhibitions, no limitations for size of visiting groups are set after July 1. The dispersion requirement however must be observed whenever possible as well as regular disinfection for surfaces that visitors may touch must be carried out. 

Health information

As the situation in the world develops daily, the Estonian authorities monitor the situation and share their information with the European Centre for Communicable Diseases (ECDC). Relevant information is available on the Estonian Health Board's website

In general, the Estonian Health Board reminds all travellers that taking care of good hygiene – e.g. careful washing of hands - is a reasonable use of common sense. If you face questions about COVID-19 or experience symptoms of the disease, call the medical advice number +372 634 6630 (service in English on daily basis between 15.00 - 17.00 hours). If necessary, the advisory workers will re-direct the call to the public emergency number 112.


Useful links

NB! Information published by the Estonian Tourist Board (Visit Estonia) regarding Covid-19 restrictions rely on information disclosed by government agencies. Any data presented on Visit Estonia's website is informative only - i.e. without juridical foundation, and should be reviewed as such. Please keep in mind, that governmental authorities may change the conditions for entering and staying in the country with a short period of notice. Estonian Tourist Board does not take responsibility for your decisions to travel or to cancel a trip – neither for any other decisions you make based on the aggregated info presented on our website nor the possible consequences resulting. We recommend you to make yourself familiar with all travel-related restrictions, including ones related to specific transport connections, services to be consumed etc. For more information on crossing the state border and e.g. on application for permission to enter Estonia in exceptional circumstances, please study the website of  Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.

Last updated : 04.12.2020
Banner link to Visit Estonia Christmas Advent Calendar 2020. Open the calendar door and win a trip t