[Updated 29 January 2021]
It’s worth mentioning that now isn’t the best time to travel, but we know that sometimes it can’t be avoided. If you do have to go to or from Estonia, we hope this guide helps you make informed decisions and stay safe.
We’ve put together this simple guide to answers these COVID travel questions:
- Can I enter Estonia?
- Do I have to self-isolate?
- Can I travel between Finland and Estonia?
- What are the quarantine rules?
- Is COVID testing available on arrival?
- What are Estonia’s COVID restrictions locally?
- Where can I find contactless accommodation in Tallinn?
We at Bob W are experts in hospitality – not COVID restrictions, and this article is a summary of government restrictions. So, when you’re done here, please head on over to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ page on COVID travel restrictions for the latest updates and full details. Cool? Let’s jump in.
Estonia’s entry requirements
In short, only travellers from Europe and a few other countries worldwide with low infection rates can enter Estonia. If you’re not from one of the places mentioned above, only plan on coming to Estonia for work or studies, otherwise you probably won’t be allowed to enter the country.
Here’s a overview based on where you’re travelling from:
- Estonia (Citizens, residents and their family members) – Yes, with or without symptoms
- The European Union, the Schengen area, UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican (Citizens, residents, long-stay visa holders and their family members) – Yes, without symptoms
- Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore (Residents) – Yes, without symptoms
- All other countries – Only for work or studies and without symptoms
But even if you can enter Estonia, you’ll probably still have to quarantine, which brings us to our next question…
Estonia’s self-isolation requirements
Travellers without symptoms from Finland, Greece, Iceland, Norway, the Vatican, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Singapore do not have to quarantine when entering Estonia before 31 January, 2021. Travellers from Japan and South Korea, however, can still enter but must quarantine for 10 days.
The following people have to quarantine:
- Estonian citizens and residents with symptoms.
- People arriving from countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Schengen area who began their trip from or transited through a country or region with a high infection rate (see list below).
- People arriving in Estonia who started their journey from or transited through countries for which there is no data or which are outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Schengen Area.
Quarantine requirements for travellers from within Europe are based on the average infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 10 days.
European destinations from which travellers don’t have to quarantine (entering Estonia 25–31 January 2021):
- Finland 61.9
- Greece 79.3
- Iceland 60.5
- Norway 148.9
- Vatican 0.0 (if not transiting through Italy)
European destinations from which travellers must quarantine (entering Estonia 25–31 January 2021):
- Andorra 1169.6
- Austria 299.6
- Belgium 248.3
- Bulgaria 125.2
- Croatia 298.6
- Czech Republic 1362.8
- Cyprus 570.2
- Denmark 364.9
- France 380.9
- Germany 319.4
- Hungary 244.1
- Ireland 1444.4
- Italy 374.1
- Latvia 685.8*
- Liechtenstein 450.8
- Lithuania 716.0*
- Luxembourg 314.9
- Malta 509.0
- Monaco 900.7
- Netherlands 555.4
- Poland 305.4
- Portugal 1215.2
- Romania 281.9
- San Marino 853.3
- Slovakia 665.7
- Slovenia 1133.3
- Spain 804.5
- Sweden 669.0
- Switzerland 442.5
- United Kingdom 1112.1*
*Exceptions apply for travellers from Latvia, Lithuania and the UK. See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website for more information.
Travel restrictions from Estonia to Finland
Currently, travellers from Finland do not have to quarantine when entering Estonia. From January 27 until February 25, Finnish citizens and residents can return to Finland from abroad, but others can only enter for a small number of professional or personal reasons.
These reasons include jobs essential to the functioning of society in areas like freight logistics, diplomacy, medicine, and media. Personal reasons can include the birth of a child, a wedding or visiting close family members (excluding siblings). See the Finnish Border Guard for full details.
There is no quarantine requirement when you are allowed to enter Finland, but a voluntary 10-day quarantine is recommended when travelling from a place with a high infection rate (see the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s website for details). It’s recommended to quarantine for 10 days after entering Finland from Estonia, and everyone is tested at the border (except freight and logistics workers).
Quarantine rules in Estonia
If you do not choose to shorten your quarantine with testing, you have to be in complete self-isolation for 10 days (14 days for travellers from the UK). Alternatively, you can shorten quarantine with negative COVID tests. Read all the details from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
COVID tests on arrival in Estonia
You bet it is. You can take a coronavirus test in terminals A and D of the Port of Tallinn as well as at Tallinn Airport. Testing points are open each day until the last passengers arrive. Tests for Estonian residents are free. Tests for non-residents cost 67 euros and are payable on the spot.
If you don’t arrive by ferry or plane (by hot air balloon, unicycle or horse-drawn carriage), you can book a test at places all over Estonia.
Estonia’s local COVID restrictions
In general, a lot of things are open in Estonia. You have to wear a mask in indoor public places (except kids under 12 and people with health issues), and follow the 2 + 2 rule (no more than two people together while staying at least two metres away from others). See Visit Estonia's full list of what you can currently do. Here’s a summary:
- Restaurants, cafes and bars are open and can be visited until 21.00, but night time alcohol sales are restricted.
- Shops are open at 50% occupancy.
- Saunas, spas, swimming pools, water centres and leisure activities like bowling, billiards and children's playrooms are open at 50% occupancy.
- Cultural and entertainment venues are open including museums, exhibitions, theatres, concert halls and cinemas.
- Up to 400 people can attend indoor public events with fixed seating, and up to 500 people at outdoor events.
Additional restrictions in Harjumaa and Ida-Virumaa Counties
Until February 3 February, the following additional restrictions apply in Harjumaa County (home to dear old Tallinn) and Ida-Virumaa County (in northeastern Estonia). After 3 February, these restrictions will loosen to become the same as the rest of Estonia (article for full details).
- Restaurants and cafes can open 6.00-19.00 following the 2 + 2 rule (excluding families) with an occupancy of 25% or less, but takeaway hours are not limited. From 3 February, food service and recreation establishments can remain open until 21.00 at 50% occupancy.
- Museums and exhibition facilities are open at 50% occupancy.
- Public meetings, events, theatre plays, concerts, and film screenings aren’t allowed.
- Saunas, spas, water parks, and swimming pools are closed but can reopen at 50% occupancy from 3 February.
A contactless place to stay in Tallinn
Bob W’s exceptionally cool apartments in Tallinn’s creative district (and Helsinki, if you’re in the neighbourhood) are a safer alternative to hotels and random rentals. Get keyless and contactless access, 24/7 online support, and your own private kitchen, laundry and bathroom (of course).
Stay safe out there!