Today, the Government decided to shorten the restriction on movement following border crossing, as well as the quarantine period of an individual who has had close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus, from 14 to 10 days.
Pursuant to the decision, the restriction on movement following border crossing will be shortened from 14 days to 10 days when arriving from a country with a high risk of infection. The opportunity to substitute the restriction on movement with two tests, the first of which will be taken immediately after arriving in Estonia, and the second no earlier than on the seventh day after receiving a negative result for the first test, will continue to remain in effect. If both test results have been negative, a person will be able to resume their normal life without waiting for the end of the 10-day isolation period. Specificities when travelling to Estonia from Latvia, Lithuania or Finland will also remain in effect.
In addition, the duration of quarantine for an individual who has had close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus will also shorten if they take a coronavirus test no earlier than on the 10th day, and the result thereof is negative or a doctor has deemed them not infectious. The 10-day period starts from the most recent close contact, which will be determined by the Health Board.
These amendments will specify the existing regulation and prescribe an exception under specific circumstances, pursuant to which, an individual, without whom the performance of a task of the State or local government would be impossible or seriously impaired, and who has had close contact with an infected person, is able to perform their task in urgent cases. An exception is also prescribed for a person who provides a vital service.
The amendments will enter into force as of tomorrow for all persons in quarantine and self-isolation, including those people for whom, as at tomorrow, a restriction on movement or quarantine is in effect.
Decisions of the Government are based on scientific research pursuant to which, about 95% of people exhibit symptoms of disease within 10 days of coming into contact with an infected person. Considering this, shortening the isolation period has been recommended by international organisations as well as the Estonian Society for Infectious Diseases, the scientific advisory board that advises the Government, and the Health Board. The isolation period has already been shortened by several European States, including Finland and Latvia.
The duration of quarantine applicable for a person diagnosed with COVID-19 does not change with the Decision of the Government.
Source: Stenbock House, 29 October 2020