At today’s cabinet meeting, the government supported easing air traffic restrictions and allowing flights from countries where the coronavirus infection rate is no higher than double the EU average.
Until now, the restriction on air traffic established by the directive of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure has been in force for countries where the coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days is 25 or higher. As the number of countries with high infection rates has increased in Europe, the continuation of the current arrangement would mean the closure of most routes, which would in turn significantly hamper both business and unavoidable business travel.
“We cannot shut ourselves off from the world. We must bear in mind that the virus is global and here to stay. We must take this into account when restricting travel,” said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas. “The current restriction has expired and now, like Latvia, we will not allow airlines to be opened with countries where the number of new virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks is more than double the European average.”
At today’s cabinet meeting, the government supported the proposal to allow future flights to and from countries where the infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days is below double the EU average shown on the website of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. As at yesterday, the average infection rate in the European Union was 93.4.
Direct flights from outside the European Union are only allowed to and from the countries listed in Annex 1 to the Council of the European Union Recommendation. These countries currently include Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and New Zealand.
Information on the average of the European Union, as well as flight restrictions established on the basis thereof, is published every Friday on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications at https://www.mkm.ee/et/uudised/info-lennupiirangute-kohta.
The government has already introduced an exception which allows air travel from Tallinn Airport to Frankfurt, Helsinki, Copenhagen, London, Riga, and Warsaw regardless of the infection rate.
Source: Stenbock House, 29 September 2020