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Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu thanks France for bringing back an Estonian citizen from the Hubei province

4. February 2020 - 18:05

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu extends his gratitude to France for arranging an Estonian citizen to be brought to France from the Hubei province. The operation with a chartered plane on 1 February brought 199 citizens of 17 EU member states back to Europe. Coordinated by France, citizens of the European Union member states, including one Estonian citizen, were brought back from the Hubei province. As a precaution, the Estonian citizen will remain under observation in France for 14 days, although, as of now, the French medics have declared the citizen healthy.

“I would like to thank the French state for its assistance and solidarity in helping an Estonian citizen. It is an excellent example of efficient cooperation between European Union countries,” Minister Reinsalu said.

The Foreign Ministry continues to advise against travelling to the Hubei province in China where the spread of the coronavirus began. “When travelling elsewhere in China, we ask you to continue to take note of the extensive restrictions on movement, which can change very quickly,” the foreign minister said.

“We strongly advise anyone in China or planning to travel there to pay close attention to the quickly changing situation,” Reinsalu said. “It is necessary to be prepared for unexpected developments, including stricter health checks on borders, and preventive measures, such as quarantine, as well as sudden traffic restrictions,” he emphasised.

The minister assured the Estonian Embassy in Beijing would continue to operate as of now but it is not currently issuing tourist visas to Estonia due to an extension of the holiday period. No further requests from Estonian citizens have been received for leaving China or for assistance from the Foreign Ministry or the embassy for that purpose. The Estonian Embassy in Beijing is constantly exchanging information with other European Union states in Beijing, and the Foreign Ministry is also in constant contact with the foreign ministries of other EU states and the EU crisis response centre.

The Foreign Ministry strongly advises anyone travelling to China to register their trip on the Foreign Ministry website reisitargalt.vm.ee to receive alerts and directions for further actions. We ask you to follow continuously the warnings on the Foreign Ministry’s Reisi Targalt website. In case of an emergency, you can call the 24-h helpline  +372 5301 9999. 

According to the Foreign Ministry’s information, the total number of Estonian citizens currently in China includes 19 short stay visitors and 78 permanent residents. The Foreign Ministry advises all citizens currently in China to reconsider the necessity and practicality of staying in the country. If meeting the objective of the trip is severely hindered or impossible, we recommend finding the option of leaving the country with a regular flight.

Additional information: https://reisitargalt.vm.ee/

Additional information:

Leen Lindam
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
+ 372 59 008 452

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