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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 28.11.2020, 12:14

Black Nights guests in Estonia allowed to move freely if certain requirements are met

BC, Tallinn, 30.10.2020.Print version
The Estonian government on Thursday supported the proposal of the Minister of Culture Tonis Lukas to release the foreign guests of the Black Nights Film Festival (POFF) taking place on November 12-29 from movement restrictions, provided that they comply with the additional requirements related to the restriction of COVID-19, informs LETA/BNS.

"POFF has become a major international event of the Estonian state and culture, an A-category film festival, of which there are only 15 in the world. This is one of the biggest signs of Estonian culture," Lukas was quoted by government spokespeople as saying. "It is very important for the success of this year's POFF that it is possible to host foreign guests linked to the festival program, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic. This is, of course, if all safety requirements are met."


The organizers of POFF have prepared all the necessary precautions in accordance with the instructions of the Health Board and the Police and Border Guard Board. Additional requirements for foreign visitors include, for example, the presentation of a health certificate upon arrival in the country, getting tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Estonia and remaining in self-isolation until the result is known.


Under the current order, third-country nationals must take into account two weeks of self-isolation if their country is on the so-called red list. The corresponding list of countries is updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs once a week on Fridays. It is very difficult for guests involved in the POFF program, such as film directors and artists involved in the competition program, but also for journalists, to meet this requirement, especially given the limited air connections and the changing national infection indicators.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, far fewer foreign visitors than usual are expected this year. While in 2019, there were about 1,500 of them, now there will be some 200 foreign visitors.

This year, POFF will implement the safety rules approved by the Health Board, the partners in testing are Synlab, Medicum and the family doctor center Sinu Arst. The organizers of POFF have also consulted with the organizers of the Estonian stage of the WRC World Championships.


POFF was first held in 1997. By now, POFF has become the largest international film festival in Estonia, the Baltics and Scandinavia. In 2014, POFF became an A-category festival, alongside festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno and others. In total, more than 3,000 film festivals have been registered worldwide, of which only 15 are A-category festivals.






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