Emergency situation

Reintroduction of border controls

Emergency situation hotline 1247

By decision of the Government of the Republic, temporary border controls are reintroduced as of 17 March.

A person who holds Estonian citizenship, a residence permit or a right of residence in Estonia, or who, according to the population register, has his permanent residence in Estonia, is allowed to cross the state border for the purpose of entering Estonia.

A foreign national who has no signs of illness can cross the border if:

  • he is directly involved in the transport of goods and raw materials, including the loading of goods or raw materials
  • he is an employee of a foreign diplomatic representation or consular post in Estonia, his family member or a foreigner arriving in Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation
  • he provides healthcare or other services necessary for dealing with an emergency
  • he is directly involved in the international carriage of goods and passengers, including a crew member serving an international means of transport and a person providing repair, warranty work or maintenance of the means of transport
  • he serves travel groups and is directly involved in the provision of passenger transport services
  • the purpose of his arrival in Estonia is related to ensuring the continuity of a vital service
  • his arrival in Estonia is related to work on the maintenance, repair, warranty or information and communication technology of the equipment of an enterprise operating in Estonia, if it is necessary to ensure the operation of the enterprise
  • the purpose of his border crossing is to move to or from work between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia.

The burden of proof that a person falls within the category described as exceptions lies with the person himself. This means that the person has to prove that he has the right to cross the border under one of the exceptions provided for in the order.

The crossing of persons involved in maintenance, repair, warranty or ICT work and persons involved in labour migration between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia requires a prior notification to the Police and Border Guard Board. Notifications should be sent to ppa@politsei.ee and will be answered at the earliest opportunity.

For persons who do not fall under the exceptions referred to in the order, it is still possible to authorise border crossing on the basis of a specific request.

Border-crossing exemption for Valga-Valka region

If a person wants to cross the border for going to work and back home from Valga to Valka or vice versa, he or she is exempt from the restriction concerning isolation when crossing the state border of the Republic of Estonia.

Who has exemption when crossing the border?

Residents who are registered in Valga and work in Valka can go to Latvia to work and return to Estonia without obligation to go to isolation for 14 days when they return home. For that purpose, the person must be prepared in cooperation with his/her employer to prove that he/she works in Valka.

Likewise, after the reintroduction of border controls at the internal borders, residents of the city of Valka, Latvia, who work in Valga, Estonia, can move to work in Valga without having to go to isolation for 14 days when they come to Estonia.

What needs to be done to get this special permission?

For this purpose, one has to submit to the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) an application for permission to cross the border in exceptional circumstances.

The application, which contains the person’s name, date of birth, number of his/her identity document, border crossing point and a document certifying work in Estonia, should be submitted by email at ppa@politsei.ee or at the border crossing point on the spot. The application shall be reviewed as soon as possible, within 24 hours at the latest.

To whom does the border-crossing exemption apply?

The exemption applies only to residents registered in Valga who work in Valka and residents registered in the city of Valka whose workplace is in Valga.

Which document is suitable for work verification?

A copy of employment contract or a “free narrative” written confirmation submitted to the PBGB by the employer, which includes forename(s) and surname(s) of employee(s), the number of their identity documents and details of the company where they should start working and when.

How long does the review of the applications take?

The PBGB shall fully cooperate with the individuals as well as companies who have submitted applications, so that border crossing would be as smooth as possible for those who are allowed to cross the border in exceptional circumstances. We will review the applications received at the earliest opportunity without any delay.

Can we as undertakings help that the employees’ applications would be reviewed sooner?

It will be easier to review the applications if the undertakings of Valga and Valka make a consolidated list of their employees to whom the special permission extends and send it to the PBGB for inspection. The list should include the employees’ forenames and surnames, the number of their identity documents and details of the company where they should start working and when. The PBGB shall subsequently check the list in its registers at the earliest opportunity and confirm if crossing the border in exceptional circumstances is allowed and to whom. All applications received from individuals are similarly reviewed at the earliest opportunity.