The Government authorised the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to decide on the restrictions on airline traffic to prevent the spreading of COVID-19

Stenbock House, 14 May 2020 – At today’s cabinet meeting, the Government authorised the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs to decide on airline traffic operations based on the state of public health and the prevalence of COVID-19 in Estonia and other countries.

“The fact that airlines are eager to start operating from Tallinn again is very pleasant. Nevertheless, we must take a step-by-step approach and consider the epidemiological state of other countries. Since the easing of restrictions brings about an increase in contacts, the number of disease carriers will probably start growing, so a step-by-step approach is the best solution,” said the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Aas.

“It is important that airlines and travel agents do not rush ahead of the decisions and the real situation. Yesterday, we decided with the Latvian and Lithuanian ministers of transport that we will first open airline traffic between the Baltic states. We will slowly start opening other destinations if the conditions are right, and this will be done based on clearly established principles,” Aas added.

“In the coming days, it will be clear whether it will be possible to open airlines to Amsterdam and Copenhagen next week. The ministry and the Health Board follows the epidemiologic situation in other countries on a daily basis to decide on the opening of airlines. First, we must close the line with Minsk because the spread of the virus is still a concerning issue in Belarus. Today, we could open airlines from Tallinn to, for example, Norway and Frankfurt as well as other cities in Germany,” Aas said.

When travelling abroad, all passengers must follow the rules established in their country of destination; the relevant and up-to-date information is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign travellers must also take into account the restrictions that are in force in Estonia.

These decisions are based on public health protection and a European Union regulation, pursuant to which each Member State has the right to refuse, restrict, or apply special conditions in traffic rights to manage unexpected short-term problems that derive from unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances.

Additional information:

Taavi Audo, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Phone number: 625 6455, 5202427