On Monday, July 6, Estonia reopened its borders to 14 countries outside the European Union (EU), based on the recommendation of the EU Council. Following the closure of borders due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in March, Estonia reopened borders with the other Baltic states on May 15 and with the EU, members of the Schengen area, and the UK on June 1. The new openings are under the same conditions as the previous ones, with those arriving from countries with a COVID-19 infection rate of over 16 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days being required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Estonia. A full list of the countries from which travel is allowed and which of these are currently considered as destinations from where travelers will be required to self-isolate can be found here.
As of Tuesday, July 7, health officials have confirmed 1995 cases of COVID-19 in Estonia, including 69 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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