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Covid-positive Finns travel to Estonia as borders re-open

The business travellers were not required to quarantine when they arrived in Estonia.

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Business and essential travel between the two countries resumed on 14 May. Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Ten people who travelled from Finland to Estonia on a business trip earlier this month were said to be infected with Covid-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus, according to Estonian health authorities.

The matter was reported by Estonian daily Postimees and the news site Delfi.

"After 14 May, 10 cases arrived in Estonia from Finland," Estonian Health Board communications manager Simmo Saar told Delfi.

"The figures are based on the date of detection of infection and not on the date when the individual arrived in Estonia," he added.

Border restrictions between Finland and Estonia were partially dismantled on 14 May, when business and essential travel were permitted once more.

One day later, travel between Estonia and Latvia as well as Lithuania was also restored. Estonia has not reported any infections from those countries. However Estonian health authorities said they recorded three coronavirus cases originating from Sweden and one from the United Arab Emirates.

No quarantine for Finnish visitors

Estonia is requiring visitors from a growing number of countries to isolate and quarantine for two weeks. However there are no similar guidelines for people coming from Finland.

Professor of virology Irja Lutsar, director of Estonia’s government-appointed coronavirus council, has previously criticised the decision to allow business travel to resume between Finland and Estonia.

In early May, Lutsar said in Postimees that visitors arriving in Estonia from Finland should be placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine, because there were more Covid-19 cases in Finland than in Estonia.

So far, Estonia has reported just under 1,900 infections, compared to nearly 6,700 in Finland. As of Tuesday the death toll from the disease in Estonia was 65. In Finland the number of deaths stood at 312 as of Tuesday.

The story was first reported in Finland by tabloid daily Ilta-Sanomat.

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