An emergency situation has been declared in Estonia due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus in the world.

From 17 March there will be a temporary restriction on entry to Estonia for foreign nationals who do not hold an Estonian residence permit or right of residence, or have family members in Estonia. Foreigners are allowed to transit Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. At the border control travel documents and medical symptoms will be checked.There are no restrictions on exiting the country.

We care about your and everyone’s health. For this reason and in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus and flu, we kindly ask you to seriously consider whether coming to the representation is essential, and refrain from doing so if you are not feeling well, suspect that you or a family member has become infected, or you or a family member has been in an area of the coronavirus epidemic in the past 14 days. Thank you for your understanding!

In addition to previous measures, restrictions on movement are in force in Estonia from 14 March in line with the emergency situation.

On 17 March 2020, applications for Schengen visas and long-stay visas to Estonia can no longer be submitted at representations and visa centres of external service providers. This also applies to Schengen visa applications that are processed by Estonia on behalf of another member state.

Further information

Meeting with Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization

On 18 December, Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi met with Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Membership of the WMO comprises national meteorological offices and Estonia has conducted close cooperation with the organisation through the Environment Agency. The aim of the meeting was to make contact through the Estonian mission in Geneva, discuss future cooperation on climate and innovation as well as the priorities of our Presidency of the UN Security Council. The ambassador emphasised that climate was an increasingly important topic in Estonia’s foreign policy and debates around the effect of climate change on international security would be a consistent theme throughout our non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

Petteri Taalas was previously the long-time head of the Finnish Meteorological Institute and fondly remembered his cooperation with the Estonian Weather Service and Environment Agency. Cooperation with Estonia goes back a long time and it is good to note that the Estonian Weather Service has reached the excellent level of the Nordic countries. Karin Saarsalu and Petteri Taalas also discussed cooperation possibilities with the WMO during Estonia’s UN Security Council membership in New York, and after the membership in Geneva and Tallinn. The role of the WMO is to encourage discussions on climate issues based on scientific evidence and facts, which is also very important for Estonia.

Petteri Taalas also spoke about the reforms currently underway in the WMO, and the use of artificial intelligence and automation in weather forecasts. In the course of reforms at the WMO, a closer cooperation has been established with the private sector and academia, while the number of administrative posts has been reduced, certain tasks have been automated, and efforts are being made to hire young promising experts and scientists.