Orav tweeted on Tuesday that: “I reaffirmed Estonia’s concern that free movement in the EU has not been restored, as some member states continue to apply restrictions on free movement which are disproportionate and unjustified, not applied horizontally, but targeting people using specific means of transport. “

Orav deputized for Estonian Interior Minister at a meeting of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Committee in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Although Finland is a Schengen area state, it continues to restrict entry other than by air, hampering the transit of large numbers of Estonian citizens and residents who regularly commute between the two countries. The European Commission has looked into the situation both there and in several other Member States, including Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Foreign Minister Eva-Marie Liimets (Center) and two of Liimets’ most prominent predecessors, Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) and Urmas Paet (Reform), as well as Estonian Ambassador to Finland , Sven Sakkov, and his predecessor Harri Tiido, all denounced the current situation with the Finnish border regime in recent days.

The Finns have given no clear indication when and if the restrictions – which also affect its border with Sweden – could be relaxed, while speculation abounds that Sunday’s local elections in Finland are a factor. Estonia also went to the polls in October and unilaterally cut air links with the UK – since reestablished – at the end of last year, ahead of a pan-European decision to do the same amid fears of coronavirus.

Aivo Orav’s position was confirmed on the social media page of the Foreign Ministry’s official mission to the EU, which tweeted that: “Speaking of Schengen, Estonia stressed the importance of free movement of people within the EU. We expect the European Commission to take further action to ensure that free movement within the Schengen area is restored as a matter of urgency. “

Entry into Finland without quarantine is currently possible from Estonia, but only by air. Mandatory quarantine upon arrival by sea boat makes daily travel impractical and has forced many Estonian citizens and residents who regularly work in Finland to choose which side of the gulf they would stay at the start of this year, when restrictions no longer exist. strict rules were imposed, a choice they had to make last spring when the pandemic first arrived.

Some exemptions include the entrance fee for Estonians residing in Finland – ERR reports that some people may have been forced to become residents against their will in the current situation – and for essential services, unavoidable reasons and family reasons , is it reported.

No indication has been given by the European Commission whether infringement proceedings will be initiated against Finland or the other member states, although the commission confirmed to the ERR last week that it was aware of the situation. and that she was treating her.

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