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Estonia easing restrictions on border crossing with Latvia, Lithuania, Finland

Christian Fernsby |
The Estonian government on Friday decided that in the second half of next week the restrictions on border crossing between Estonia and Finland will be relaxed and the free movement of residents of and those legally staying in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be restored, informed Estonian government press-service.

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With the order of the person in charge of the emergency situation, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the restriction will ease as of May 14.

The restrictions in place required the people coming from Finland to Estonia to remain in self-isolation for 14 days after crossing the border.

People who lived in Estonia but worked in Finland could only travel to Estonia once a week without having to observe the 14-day self-isolation requirement, but as of next Thursday, they can travel between Estonia and Finland more frequently.

In addition to people working in Finland, the requirement for self-isolation after the border crossing will be lifted for people who come from Finland to Estonia to work or to study.

People coming to Estonia for urgent family reasons, such as to see a close relative, or for a wedding or a funeral, will not have to observe the self-isolation requirement.

Although the self-isolation requirement will be lifted, it is recommended that people arriving to Estonia would avoid leaving their homes unnecessarily for a two-week period, except for travelling between work and home, or for some other essential purpose.

Additional requirements are applied on ships and ports: from May 14 to 9, voluntary testing will be carried out for coronavirus causing coronavirus on board of ships travelling between Finland and Estonia.

The aim of testing is to reduce the possible spread of the virus to Estonia.

The testing arrangements will be developed by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The amendment to the Government Regulation also allows for the possibility to perform a random border check to identify the person crossing the border and the purpose of their journey.

The free movement of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian residents and people legally residing in these countries will resume within a week, on May 15th.

As of that date, the temporary border control and surveillance of the state borders at the border between Estonia and Latvia will cease, and people from Latvia and Lithuania will no longer have to stay at home for 14 days when arriving to Estonia, unless they have arrived from outside the Baltic States.

The opening of borders and the conditions associated with free movement of persons legally staying in the Baltic States will be specified in the joint agreement between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the near future.

At the same time, people crossing the border must continue to comply with the orders issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as the requirement to wear a mask, or the 2-by-2 rule, which allows up to two people to be in a public place together, maintaining a distance of at least two metres from everybody else.

Since the orders may vary from country to country, the relevant information will be made available specifically to people crossing the state borders.

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