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Travel information: options for returning home and important consular information

23. March 2020 - 15:44

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Estonian foreign missions continue to cooperate with travel agencies and transport companies and other countries to find and relay solutions for Estonians to return home.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly urges Estonians who are still abroad to decide now whether they want to return to Estonia or whether they are prepared to stay abroad for an extended period of time. It is highly likely that in the next few days regular flights will be discontinued for a while. So, even though Estonians can always enter Estonia, it may happen very soon that for logistical reasons people cannot return to Estonia before the end of this global crisis.

Here are the most recent updates to our knowledge:

Additional flights:

  • Flight from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport to Vilnius on 24 March with Kidy Tour.
  • Nordica’s special flight from Malaga to Tallinn on 24 March. Information is available here: https://www.nordica.ee/lendamekoju/
  • A special flight, organised by Lithuania, from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam via Bangkok, Thailand flies to Kaunas on 27 March. On 27 March at 10:00 the flight will take off from HCMC, have a layover in Bangkok and then head towards Kaunas. Priority is given to the citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Booking has been extended until 26 March: https://www.vietnamballoons.com/book-online
  • airBaltic will fly from London to Riga on 26 and 27 March. It is not possible to drive to Riga from Estonia; to get to the border it is recommended to take a taxi (for example, Bolt) or rent a car.
  • Today and tomorrow (23 and 24 March) airBaltic will have a special flight from Frankfurt to Riga. Additional information: https://www.airbaltic.com/et/teadaanded; tickets are also available to Estonian citizens.

Flight options that will not be available soon:

  • Easyjet has announced that they are planning to cancel most of their flights from Tuesday, 24 March onwards; changes in flights on the route London–Tallinn are also likely.
  • Finnair has cancelled all long-haul flights until the end of June; only flights to Tokyo will continue.

Important consular information:

  • As of 25 March (probably at 00:00) the United Arab Emirates will stop all air traffic, including transit, for the next two weeks. This does not concern special rescue flights or cargo flights. Emirates Airline will suspend all passenger flights for two weeks starting from 25 March. This means that no airports in the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai, Abu Dhabi) will be available for transit as of 25 March.
  • All States of Germany have imposed restrictions on being outdoors for the next two weeks. Any and all gatherings, whether public or private, are prohibited and any violation is subject to a fine.
  • Slovenia keeps open only four of its six border crossing points with Italy.
  • Starting from 23 March at 00:00, all international flights to Beijing will have a layover in China for a prior check of the passengers; the layover will serve as a point of customs control, quarantine and baggage check.
  • On 22 March the Philippines eased their strict quarantine rules and they now allow foreigners to leave the country at any given time if there are flights available. This does not facilitate domestic traffic: only people in uniform performing critical COVID-19 duties are allowed to move around in the air and on water and land.
  • In India, New Delhi and many other States have imposed a curfew until 31 March, which may be extended. National flights, passenger trains and most bus lines are also not in operation currently.
  • Singapore will not allow any foreigners into the country even if they have a work permit and will also ban all transit through the airport as of 24 March (at 00:00).
  • As of 22 March (at 00:00) commuting for work between Estonia and Finland is no longer possible.
  • Montenegro has stopped all scheduled international flights.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina quarantines everyone at the border (tents).
  • Italy has imposed even stricter national restrictions on movement, including being outdoors.
  • Thailand demands a medical certificate upon entry into the country.
  • Vietnam closed its borders to all foreigners on 22 March.
  • Romania has imposed a curfew at night time and is closing its borders.
  • Taiwan will stop air traffic transit from 24 March to 7 April.
  • There is practically no way for Europeans to get to Japan, visas have been suspended and new visas are only issued in single instances. It is still possible to leave Japan; transit through the airports in Japan is also possible if the country is not entered into; Europeans cannot leave the transit zone, which makes transit possible only through one and the same airport and terminal.
  • As of 24 March at 23:59 Hong Kong will ban the entry of non-residents, including air transit.

Special flights and ferry rides already announced:

  • On 24 and 25 March there will be special airBaltic flights from London Gatwick Airport to Riga.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, 24 and 25 March respectively, there will be special airBaltic flights from Amsterdam to Riga. To book a ticket, please call: +371 67207771.

To book a ticket to different flights, please contact the relevant transport company or travel agent. Contact information for Estonian travel agencies:

Estravel: estravel@estravel.ee tel: +372 6 266 266
Baltic Tours: klienditeenindus@baltictours.ee
CWT Estonia: city-ee@mycwt.com
Go Travel: ariklient@gotravel.ee
Travel Agency Atlas: tartu@atlas.ee
WRIS: tellimus@wris.ee

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work closely with travel agencies and other Member States of the European Union to make sure that possible rescue flights are available to those Estonians who, to our knowledge, have no way of getting back from a destination further away. Please note that the cost is different for each flight depending on the number of bookings.

If you are trapped abroad and unable to find a way back to Estonia, please let us know by calling +372 5301 9999 (24H).

Since new travel restrictions and transport interruptions are possible, we ask that all travelling Estonians return home as soon as possible or be prepared for an extended stay in the country of their current location.

More information:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Communication Department
press@mfa.ee

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