The Government supported the joint statement of the Baltic Republics for the improved protection of the health of the people following the opening of shared borders

Stenbock House, 14 May 2020 – The Government approved a joint statement of the Ministers of Health of the Baltic Republics on the protection of public health in order to control the spread of COVID-19 in connection with the lifting of travel restrictions in the Baltic Republics.

‘The responsible behaviour of our people has helped to successfully limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Baltic Republics, which allows us to restore the movement of residents between the three countries’, said Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik. ‘Even though we are gradually restoring the right to travel, you must continue to stay at home if you are ill and carefully consider any travel plans you may have. It is important that people in all three countries know where to turn if they become ill, and there is a need to ensure a rapid exchange of information between national health authorities and other competent authorities to ensure the rapid identification of close contacts of individuals who have fallen ill’.

In the joint statement it was agreed that the permanent residents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania would be able to travel freely in the Baltic Republics and that they would not be subject to a 14 day quarantine upon arrival in the country or required to be tested for COVID-19, provided that they were not required to remain in quarantine in their home country, have not been in countries other than the Baltic Republics within the last 14 days, and are showing no symptoms of the disease. Quarantining and testing may only be required upon entry from outside the Baltic Republics, or in the case of obvious symptoms of respiratory disease.

The joint statement on public health measures supplements the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the three countries, which concerns the lifting of restrictions on movement between the countries. The Government approved the above on 12 May. The memorandum will be signed tomorrow by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Cooperation between the three Baltic Republics was initiated by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas together with his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts, Krišjānis Kariņš and Saulius Skvernelis, during their video conference on 22 April. On 6 May, the three Prime Ministers decided to open the borders between their countries as of 15 May. At the Cabinet Meeting of the Government of the Republic there was support for the proposal to end restrictions on movement between Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia on 15 May, provided that people arriving in Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia from third countries remain in 14-day isolation and the Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian police departments organise the requisite exchange of information in order to permit for this.