Here you can find updated questions and answers about the emergency situation in Estonia in English, including topics like who is allowed to cross the Estonian border.
On 24 March 2020 additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were agreed by the Government Emergency Committee. The new measures concern people-to-people distance in public space and the closure of shopping malls and additional entertainment facilities starting tomorrow.
“I ask for an even greater effort by all of us to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “We need to behave as ‘our’ society, not as ‘my’ society. It is in the interest of all Estonian people. The faster the coronavirus stops spreading, the faster we will return to our normal pace of life.”
It was agreed by the emergency committee that at least 2 meters distance between people should be kept in public places, such as outdoor playgrounds, sports grounds, beaches, promenades, health and hiking trails and indoors, except in homes and when this cannot be ensured. Up to two people are allowed to be together in public space. This restriction does not apply to families living and moving around together, and to people performing public duties. The space requirement between people will come into effect tomorrow, 25 March.
The emergency committee also agreed to close shopping centres, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, telecommunication outlets, bank offices, parcel stations, and stores selling or renting assistant and medical devices on the basis of an assistant card or medical device card as of 27 March. Shopping centre eateries are only allowed to sell food as take away. In shops that remain open people must adhere to the principle that they may move alone or in pairs and keep at least 2 meters distance from other people. Disinfectants must be provided at the entrances and exits of all shops which remain open. Stores that are open must enforce this rule.
It was decided that restaurants and bars should be closed at 10 pm in the evening, and that only take-away and home delivery will be allowed after that time. Entertainment venues, for example bowling and billiard halls, hookah cafés, adult clubs, will be closed.
The government decided to restrict crossing of the Schengen internal and external border temporarily and reintroduce border controls starting on 17 March in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Only citizens of Estonia and holders of Estonian residency permit or right of residence, among them the so-called grey passport holders can enter Estonia, as well as foreign citizens whose family member lives in Estonia.
We remind you that Estonians returning from abroad must self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days. The aim of the self-isolation is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to remind all Estonian residents that non-essential travel should be avoided where possible, even is the travelling is allowed. Additionally, all travellers must monitor their health.
The websites of several government agencies now have Suve, an automated chatbot which provides answers to frequently asked questions about the emergency situation and the coronavirus. The chatbot provides answers to questions in Estonian and English and uses information from the official sources of government agencies. All volunteers are welcome to contribute to the development of the chatbot. If you are a data entry clerk, translator, or editor and wish to contribute, please visit https://eebot.ee/en/. The website also provides additional information for institutions and companies that wish to embed the chatbot to their website.
Government press release 24.03.2020: https://www.valitsus.ee/en/news/additional-measures-emergency-situation