As an event organiser you can help prevent coronavirus from spreading by arranging testing at the event as one possible method. When it comes to testing, events can currently be divided broadly into two categories: events with local participants and events with participants from abroad.

You should think it through whether and how it is possible to test the participants and the audience for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.  If necessary, create an “Anti-COVID team” and develop guidelines for the team.

When you’re planning the event and testing of the participants, including visitors from abroad, it is important to note that it takes 24-48 hours for the results to come in.

For people who reside in Estonia, testing can be arranged through institutions offering paid coronavirus testing services. These institutions are listed HERE

The more prominent events with visitors from abroad (WRC Rally Estonia, IRONMAN, Bocuse d´Or) have requested that the visitors give a coronavirus sample in their home country no more than 72 hours before receiving the accreditation, and take a repeat test upon entry into Estonia. The visitors are expected to present the results of both tests to the organising team. By doing so they help to avoid bringing the virus into the country and spreading it during the event.

Foreign visitors can use the testing point created for people arriving in the country at Tallinn Airport and the Port of Tallinn (A and D terminals), where they can pay on the spot and have a sample taken. If the result is negative, a message in English is sent to the tested person by SMS as soon as the result is sent out from the laboratory; if the result is positive, the person will receive a phone call from the testing call centre during its working hours. Information on the countries of origin or transit that require self-isolation upon arrival is available on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is updated weekly on Fridays and comes into effect on Mondays. The list can be found HERE.

Before testing, the following information needs to be prepared:

  • First and last name of the person giving the sample
  • Identity code for Estonian residents, date of birth for others
  • Travel document number for foreign nationals
  • Testing location, date and time (pursuant to an agreement with the service provider)
  • Method of informing the person

It is important to decide on a contact person whom the people related to the event (guests, audience, etc.) can contact regarding information on taking the test, its location, time, data and results. The task of the contact person is to gather all relevant information and communicate with the medical service provider responsible for the testing.

For the organiser, it is important to decide whether the coronavirus test taken in Estonia is paid for by the organiser or by the participants themselves. The current practice tends to be that there is one party who pays for coronavirus testing. This option is supported by the possibility to conclude a legally correct three-party agreement for transferring personal data: between the medical institution organising the sampling, the organiser of the event, and the person giving the sample. This also allows the medical institution to share the results with the event organiser, who can then react promptly (quick isolation in case the result is positive, finding replacements in teams, etc.).

A great “Anti-COVID plan” also includes the following:

  • Hand disinfection stations with carefully chosen locations upon arrival and departure
  • Ensuring that the social distancing rule is followed, participants are at the required distance, queues are avoided, etc.
  • Wearing of masks is made compulsory/possible, masks are handed out at least indoors or where there are many people together; sourcing and distribution of masks
  • Necessity of random checks, taking the temperature and other control measures
  • Behavioural guidelines in case someone needs to be isolated, treated (in cooperation with the ambulance or private medical service provider, e.g. Alre in Central and Southern Estonia, Eldred Medical in Northern and Eastern Estonia)
  • A plan for sharing information; an invitation to download the HOIA mobile application
  • Deciding which institutions the organiser needs to coordinate the event with, e.g. Health Board, Ambulance, Emergency Response Centre, local hospital/family health centre, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.

Each country establishes their own regulations for entry into the country. When leaving Estonia, foreign visitors must obtain the information from their destination country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the requirements for self-isolation and testing. It is a good idea to guide them towards taking these steps sooner rather than later.