COVID Situation in Estonia – background info for international visitors
Estonian tourism companies – restaurants, accommodation facilities, spas, museums and attractions – are open and await visitors!
Our most important message to you is that it is safe to be in Estonia.
Both our government and our citizens took the necessary precautions to stop the spread of the virus, thus achieving a situation in which nobody has been in intensive care for weeks now and the number of people in hospitals due to the virus remains less than 10. Hospital capacity is in no way affected by the virus and high-quality medical care is available in all areas to both residents and visitors. According to OECD Sustainable Development Report 2020, Estonia ranks among the top countries in the world in terms of epidemic control index.
Tourism companies, as well as other service providers (such as beauty salons and stores), are following the safety measures set by the government and the recommendations of the Estonian Health Board. Careful consideration was given and consultations held with scientists before restrictions were lifted, and they were not lifted all at once, but little by little. Thanks to these decisions, the progress we have made has encountered no setbacks. Tougher measures have not had to be reintroduced in any sector.
The most important measure introduced by the government is that of keeping distance between people, which partially places responsibility on individuals and their actions and attitudes.
Wearing masks is not mandatory in Estonia, but it is recommended if you are in contact with other people outdoors or indoors for longer periods and if you belong to a risk group. Masks are available for purchase from any pharmacy. As front-line workers, cashiers now tend to have protective screens and occasionally also wear masks.
Providing hand-sanitizing stations is a priority in Estonia. Disinfectants are available to all customers in stores, in hotel lobbies, at attractions and events and so on. Estonian Tourist Board is supplying almost 200 main service providers and transportation hubs with branded disinfection stations ‘Visit Estonia the safest way’.
In addition, service providers are also following the guidelines set by the Estonian Health Board about the way in which rooms and surfaces should be cleaned and how often this should take place, as well as guidelines concerning worker health. Estonian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Health Board, has trained tourism entrepreneurs on the topic of health requirements.
There is no specific ban on travelling for groups. However, restrictions on the consumption of services should be taken into account – the main requirement being the rule of dispersion in public places. Therefore, in some cases, there may be restrictions on the number of simultaneous visitors at tourist attractions. For example, the requirement not to exceed 50% visitor capacity has been imposed on spas. The visitestonia.com website will update you on any restrictions.
Last but not least, this situation is new to us all. Different service providers in different countries ensure safety in different ways. Clients also differ in terms of whether they belong to a risk group due to their illnesses or age and depending on their personal fear of falling ill. Not even the most diligent service provider can hope to foresee all of the expectations and problems a client may have in these extraordinary circumstances. Please let them know if you have any doubts or questions. Good will and mutual understanding will help us overcome this difficult situation and allow us to enjoy the real world again, not just the virtual, while gaining new experiences by travelling.
We are sure that the importance of freedom, face-to-face communication and movement will be translated into the language of hospitality in all European countries where restrictions have been lifted.
Welcome (back)! We have been waiting to see you!
- Liina Maria Lepik – Director, Estonian Tourist Board
- Mariann Lugus – Secretary General, Estonian Travel and Tourism Association
- Maarika Liivamägi – Managing Director, Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association
- Kadri Karu – Managing Director, Estonian Convention Bureau
- Aire Toffer – CEO, Estonian Spa Association
- Raili Mengel-Sünt – Managing Director, Estonian Rural Tourism
- Hanno Kross – Member of the Board, Estonian Golf Course Owners Association
- Andres Juur – Founder Member, The Union of Estonian Major Tourist Attractions