Testing after returning from a trip abroad

Those returning to Estonia from COVID-19 risk countries will have the opportunity to get tested at the airport or the port, in order to shorten their self-isolation period and return to work sooner. Testing is voluntary and free of charge for Estonian residents; non-residents can pay for it on site by card. In order to shorten the self-isolation period, you will need to get tested twice. This option is not available for those who come to Estonia from third countries for the first time, either for work-related purposes or to study.

Upon your arrival, you can get tested in the pedestrian area of terminals A and D at the Port of Tallinn serviced by Confido medical personnel, or at Tallinn Airport at the provisional testing point serviced by Qvalitas, based on a referral letter, which is issued on the spot. In order to obtain the referral letter, you will be asked about the country you came from and your time of departure. It takes about 5 minutes to complete the referral letter and testing. Both at the port and at the airport, people are tested on a first-come, first-served basis. The testing points are open according to the arrival schedule of ferries and airplanes; they remain closed at other times.

Those arriving by land can schedule their first test by calling the public testing call centre at 678 0000 (Mon-Fri, 9.00–17.00). In Estonia, people with symptoms are tested as a priority. Therefore, the waiting period might be 1–2 days, which is why once you know your time of arrival it is recommended to book your test in advance. You can get tested at public testing sites located all over Estonia: in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Paide, Rakvere, Kuressaare, Võru and Kärdla.

Non-residents can also shorten their self-isolation period and return to work as agreed with their employer by getting tested upon their arrival at Tallinn Airport or the Port of Tallinn, but they have to pay €67 for the test. The fee can be paid by card on site. Another option is to take a paid test at SYNLAB; you can find out more about this option HERE.

Non-residents who are arriving from a country not included in the common list of the European Union and who have arrived in Estonia for the first time for work-related purposes or to study CANNOT shorten their self-isolation period by getting a test. In this case, you are still subject to the rule that the person who invited you has to provide you with the opportunity to stay at their place of residence or at some other location for 14 calendar days from your arrival in Estonia. You should also get tested for coronavirus as soon as possible after your arrival and get tested for a second time not sooner than 14 days from your arrival in Estonia.

The testing call centre will call you regarding the appointment for the second test, which is free of charge and is carried out 7 days after the first test. However, if you booked the time for the first paid test, you also need to book the second appointment yourself. You can only get the second test at the pre-booked time at the public testing points in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Paide, Rakvere, Võru, Kuressaare and Kärdla.

Testing will be performed by the public testing organisation. All tests will be analysed in the Tallinn lab of SYNLAB.

Until the test results arrive, you need to stay in complete self-isolation. If the result is negative, you will be notified of it by text message; if it is positive, you will be called. For Estonian residents, the results are also available in the health information system digilugu.ee when you log in with your ID card. Even if the first test is negative, you still need to stay in limited self-isolation for seven days, meaning that you are allowed to go to work to perform urgent and strictly necessary tasks at the request of your employer, and visit a local supermarket, but you should avoid unnecessary contact with others. At work, you should also keep a safe distance from people and, if needed, wear a protective mask, among other measures.

You should get tested for a second time no sooner than 7 days after the first test. If this test is also negative, you can continue with your regular everyday life. This means that after two negative test results, you are no longer subject to the 14 days of complete self-isolation, which applies to everyone who arrives from risk countries as well as those who do not get tested twice. To book an appointment for the second test, you will receive a phone call from the public testing call centre.

A risk country is a country in which the coronavirus infection rate is at least 16 cases per 100,000 people. The list of risk countries is updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs every Friday and the list will enter into force from the following Monday. Updated information is available HERE.

See also the “Travel Smart” page HERE.

World Hearth Organisation https://www.who.int/
Eesti Arst, K.Subi, august 2004, “SARS – uus emergeerunud viirusnakkus”
Forbes, A. Knapp: “The Secret History of The First Coronaviruses” 11. aprill 2020

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