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What is the difference between restrictions on freedom of movement, self-isolation, and quarantine?



  • If you have tested positive for corona virus you will be subject to restrictions on movement and you may not leave your place of residence from when you are diagnosed with the coronavirus until you have fully recovered. You may only leave if your home is told to do so by a healthcare worker or a police officer or for essential reasons if you are life or health are in danger. The families of people who have tested positive are subject to the same restrictions on movement.
    •  Exceptional cases when it is permitted to leave the home if there are no signs of illness are:
      • if a member of the family is a healthcare worker or providing other services that are vital in the emergency
      • to get essential supplies in the immediate local area when there is no other way of getting them. In this case all restrictions on movement and public spaces must be followed
      • if there has been no contact at all within the home with the person who has been diagnosed with coronavirus
      • to spend time outdoors if all the earlier restrictions on movement in public spaces are followed
  • If the country’s national border is crossed someone from a third country for the purposes of working or studying in Estonia then that individual must submit to the requirement of a fourteen-day period of restriction on their freedom of movement, and anyone who has invited such an individual into Estonia or any employer of someone who comes from a third country must also immediately organise initial testing for the individual, as well as repeat testing after a period of at least fourteen days.
  • No sickness benefit is paid to such an individual during any period in which their freedom of movement is restricted, unless they develop symptoms of a disease.


  • Any individual with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis must remain in self-isolation based on a decision that is made by a physician, which means that the person in question will be subject to the same requirements which are specified in order No 257 by the Government of the Republic on quarantine measures. Based on the physician’s decision and the order of the Government of the Republic, the individual concerned may only leave their residence or lodging under exceptional circumstances (such as those which constitute an emergency, or if ordered to do so by the police, or if they are being transported to a hospital in the event of any deterioration in their condition, and so on).
  • Any close contact of an individual who has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis must remain in self-isolation, which means that such persons will be subject to the same requirements which are specified in order No 257 by the Government of the Republic on quarantine measures. In cases which involve a close contact of someone who has been infected with COVID-19, leaving their residence or lodging temporarily in order to obtain essential supplies is not deemed to be a violation of the self-isolation requirement - this being the requirement to remain at home - if such supplies cannot be obtained in any other manner. Essential supplies primarily mean food and medicinal products. In such cases the individual must implement all possible measures to prevent the potential spread of the virus, including wearing a mask, using disposable or medical-grade gloves or sanitising their hands, maintaining the required distancing in relation to other people, and leaving their residence or lodging at such a time at which the likelihood of their coming in contact with other people is as small as possible.
  • Sickness benefit will be paid in the event of someone having to self-isolate.


  • In the event of having to quarantine, a person may not leave their place of residence or lodging at all, under any reasonable circumstances. Quarantine can be established by means of an order by the Government of the Republic or through an administrative act being executed by the Health Board if there is a risk of an especially hazardous or novel infectious disease being spread outside of the centre of infection (§ 27 of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act).
  • Quarantined individuals will receive sickness benefit.

Exemption from restrictions on freedom of movement

Attention: the Health Board is not authorised to exempt any individuals who arrive in Estonia from restrictions on their freedom of movement where such a restriction has been established as an order by the Government of the Republic, or to reduce the duration of any period of restriction on one’s freedom of movement.