Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:
Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.
We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.
It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements. We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate.
We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel
Latest Travel Alert
A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Estonia.
On March 12, the Estonian government declared an emergency situation due to the pandemic spread of coronavirus and the likely further spread of the virus within Estonia. Unless decreed otherwise by the government, the emergency situation will remain in force until 1 May 2020.
Under new measures, all public gatherings have been banned and many public spaces such as museums and cinemas will close.
The Estonian government will reintroduce checks on the border from March 17. Only citizens of Estonia and holders of Estonian residency permits or right of residence can enter Estonia, as well as foreign citizens whose family member lives in Estonia.
Foreigners will be allowed to transit through Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19 and there will be no restrictions on exiting the country. Travel documents and medical symptoms will be checked at the border. The government has also announced the requirement of a two-week quarantine for everyone entering the country.
These measures will be in force until decided otherwise and will be reviewed every two weeks.
See links below for details.
If you are in Estonia, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.
The Estonian Health Board contains information and advice on Coronavirus and is updated regularly. It also contains a link to information on the Family Physician Advisory Line (Ph: 1220 / +372 634 6630).
Information for travellers is available on the following websites:
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Estonia by dialling 112.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Although the threat from terrorism in Estonia is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime remains relatively low in Estonia but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Pickpocketing and mugging can be a problem in the Tallinn Old Town, ferry ports and major hotels - particularly during the summer months so be careful - take sensible precautions and avoid unlit side-streets and parks at night.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Estonia, report it to the local police immediately. To call the police, dial 112. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Tallinn if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Estonia, you should take extra care, particularly when driving after dark and on major highways as road traffic accidents are common. If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law (the legal alcohol limit is zero) and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
- Dimmed headlights and seatbelts are mandatory at all times.
- Your vehicle must have winter tyres from 1 December to 1 March every year. These dates may change if there are severe weather conditions so check local conditions if you’re driving between October and April.
- If you intend to travel by car or motorbike to Estonia, you must bring your original Vehicle Registration Certificate, as your vehicle will be refused entry into Estonia if you can’t produce it. You’re also obliged to carry a copy of your insurance certificate within the vehicle.
Pedestrians and cyclists
Reflectors are mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists at all times.
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Mosquitoes and horseflies
Mosquitoes and horseflies are common in Estonia during the summer months, as are ticks and mites which can spread infection. Insect repellent is a sensible precaution if you plan on visiting during the summer, particularly if you intend going to Estonia’s many forests and bogs.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
You can apply for your EHIC and find out more information here.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Estonia.
The currency of Estonia is the Euro.
Estonia is very cold in winter and generally under snow until March. If you’re planning to visit, you should bring warm winter clothing as well as appropriate footwear.
In the winter months, footpaths in cities and towns, including the Old Town in Tallinn, are extremely dangerous because of impacted ice.
Outside office hours, in case of a genuine consular emergency for Irish citizens, the Duty Officer is available at: + 372-56-908340.
Embassy of Ireland
Monday to Friday 9.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 17.00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.