TESTING FOR THE VIRUS
How to get tested for coronavirus, and who can get tested and why?
- Any patient with symptoms of a viral upper respiratory tract disease is referred to testing via family physicians, irrespective of their age, any concomitant diseases, and whether or not they have health insurance. This includes those patients who are not registered in the lists of any of the family physicians.
Any patients with symptoms of a viral upper respiratory tract disease (including those who have a family physician as well as those who do not) may contact the family physician advisory line by calling 1220 (Mon-Sun between 08:00-22:00, including public holidays). If necessary they will be referred to COVID-19 testing by a physician.
- Those individuals who arrive into Estonia from a COVID-19 risk country as their country of origin or as a transit country may have themselves tested for coronavirus at Tallinn Airport, in the Port of Tallinn, or at the border crossing point in Narva in order to be able to return to work sooner and reduce the required duration of the restrictions on their freedom of movement. Anyone who arrives into Estonia by road or through the Port of Paldiski can book a testing time by contacting the public testing call centre on 678 0000 (Mon-Fri 9-17). Read more »
- The work of testing patients before carrying out any special medical tests, procedures, surgeries, dental care procedures, etc, is organised if it is deemed to be necessary by the individual healthcare institution that is treating the patient.
- Anyone, including all asymptomatic individuals, will be referred to testing by their family physician before they can be admitted to a social welfare institution or a nursing home.
Any clients who are transferred from one social welfare institution to another will be referred to testing by the Health Board’s regional departments.
- Any clients of social welfare institutions who exhibit symptoms of a viral upper respiratory tract disease will be referred to testing by their family physician or by the Health Board’s regional department.
- Any employees of social welfare institutions, including interns and volunteers, will be referred to testing by the Health Board’s regional departments prior to the commencement of their work. Employees of social welfare institutions who exhibit respiratory symptoms may be referred to testing by their family physician or through the Health Board.
- In the case of epidemiological circumstances becoming apparent, the Health Board’s regional departments will organise the systematic testing of all individuals who are connected to the affected social welfare institution, dorm, shelter, work collective, etc, if this is deemed to be necessary.
Testing, and the appearance of symptoms
- If you experience any symptoms which, as a rule, appear between five to six days after being infected, it is highly important that you stay at home and call your family physician or the family physician advisory line (1220). In some cases an infected individual may already be infectious for one or even two days before the symptoms appear. Your family physician will assess whether or not you need to be tested and will give you any of the health-related advice you may need.
- If your family physician decides that you should be tested, they will submit an electronic order to a laboratory and the laboratory will call you to agree upon the time and place of testing. Wait for the call or book a test via the online reception service. Please read further information below »
Tests can be taken on the weekends and on public holidays as well.
- Bring an identity document with you and go to the agreed place by the right time. Nonlaryngeal samples can be given based on an electronic referral at the agreed testing site and at the agreed time by presenting an identity document. Please do not visit a testing site without a referral or an identity document. If possible, visit the testing site alone.
- Wait for the results.
Anyone who tests positive will receive a phone call within two working days. The test results are also registered in the digilugu.ee environment. In the case of a negative test result, the result is only registered in the individual’s file at digilugu.ee because there is not enough manpower available to be able to provide everyone who has taken a test with a personal call-back.
- If you have tested positive, please stay at home and follow the advice given by your family physician. If your health condition deteriorates, contact your family physician again or call an ambulance by dialling 112.
- Anyone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 must self-isolate based on a doctor’s decision.
In Estonia, the capacity for testing for COVID-19 is available through the laboratories of the Health Board, Tartu University Hospital, SYNLAB Estonia, the North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, Ida-Viru Central Hospital, West Tallinn Central Hospital, East Tallinn Central Hospital, Pärnu Hospital, and Kuressaare Hospital.
For this purpose, a text message with a link to the e-reception system is sent to the mobile telephone number specified in the referral after that referral has been received. These text messages are sent to individuals who are at least eighteen years of age. The patient must verify their identity in the e-reception environment by using an ID card or Mobile ID (a Smart ID cannot be used). This will enable people to book their testing times quickly without having to wait for a call from the testing centre.
The service can be used on a voluntary basis and provides an alternative option. Those who do not wish to use the e-reception system or who fail to receive the text message due to technical issues will still receive a telephone call from the testing centre based on the order in which referrals are processed at the centre. Partial booking via the e-reception system will undoubtedly shorten the waiting time in terms of being contacted by the testing call centre. The test results will still be sent to tested individuals as previously.
If you have any questions, please contact the testing call centre by calling the number +372 646 4848 (Mon-Fri 9-17).
How can I get a certificate to confirm that I have recovered from the virus?
- Responses to referrals for coronavirus testing can be found via the ‘Patient Portal’ which can be printed out.
The following responses to referrals can be found in the Patient Portal:
- If your SARS‑CoV‑2 test was analysed at the SYNLAB Estonia laboratory, you can use the TESTI smartphone app to generate a free certificate. The app makes it possible to view coronavirus test results, share your result in ODF format, and generate a certificate which will contain your results. The TESTI smartphone app can be downloaded from the following address: https://api.testi.me/install.
Anyone who arrives in Estonia from a COVID-19 risk country as their country of origin or as a transit country may have themselves tested for coronavirus in order to be able to return to work and reduce the required duration of any restrictions on their freedom of movement. The test can be taken as follows, depending on the method of arrival:
- By ship: in the pedestrian area of terminals A and D in the Port of Tallinn
- By plane: at a temporary test site at Tallinn Airport with the help of the Confido medical personnel
- Through Narva: indoors in the border zone, at the border crossing point in Narva (running around the clock)
- By train, by ship to Paldiski, or by another method of road transport: at a public testing site with a booking that has been made in advance. Test times can be booked by calling the public testing centre on 678 0000 (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00). As testing for symptomatic individuals is prioritised in Estonia, the queue may sometimes be between one to three days long, which means that it would be advisable to make the call as soon as you know the date of your arrival. The list of public test sites can be found HERE »
Testing is voluntary and free of charge for anyone who is able to present an Estonian passport, a grey Estonian alien’s passport, or an Estonian ID card. Non-Estonian citizens can pay by card to take the test on site (the test costs 52 euros, at the airport for the fee of 60 euros).
Anyone who is returning from an at-risk country by land can arrange a suitable time for initial testing by calling the public testing centre on the special telephone number: +372 678 0000 (Mon-Fri 9-17). Further information about testing is available at: www.koroonatestimine.ee/en/for-patients/testing-after-a-trip-abroad.
Tests can also be handled at public test sites all over Estonia: in Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Sillamäe, Pärnu, Viljandi, Rakvere, Kohtla-Järve, Kuressaare, Võru, Haapsalu, Paide, Rapla, Hiiumaa, Valga, Põlva, Jõgeva.
The second sample can only be given at a pre-booked time at the public testing sites.
Further information is available at: www.koroonatestimine.ee/en/testing-sites.
The testing service is being provided by a public testing organisation based on a contract with the Health Board. The tests are analysed at SYNLAB’s laboratory in Tallinn.
Individuals must observe restrictions on their freedom of movement until they have received their test results. Negative results are communicated by text message to individuals who have been tested. Phone calls are made to notify anyone of positive results. The results will also be made available through the digilugu.ee/en health information system, which can be accessed by means of an ID card, Mobile ID, or Smart ID.
If an individual has taken the first PCR coronavirus test upon entering the country or within 72 hours before entering the country, and the result of this test has been negative, they must still remain in limited self-isolation for the first six days of their stay in Estonia, which means that they may go to work in order to carry out essential duties which cannot be postponed once such a course of action has been agreed with their employer, and will also be able to go shopping for groceries near their home, but they must avoid any unnecessary contact with other people. They should also keep their distance from other individuals at work, and should wear a mask if necessary, along with maintaining any other safety requirements to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
At least six days after learning the result of the first test, a second PCR test may be taken. If the result of this test is also negative, the individual may resume their normal daily life. This means that, having tested negative twice, the individual will no longer be subjected to the ten-day restriction on their freedom of movement which is applied to anyone who has travelled from a risk country and has not taken two tests.
Please note that days following testing must be counted by assuming that the day upon which the test is taken is day zero. In other words, anyone who has been tested on Monday must wait at least until Sunday to take the second test, as Monday is day zero, Tuesday is day one, and Sunday is day six.
In the period between the two tests, the individual must observe the restrictions on their freedom of movement. Any result from a second test which has been taken less than six days after the first test will not reduce the duration of the isolation period.
Information on countries and restrictions on freedom of movement for passengers can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs »
The list of risk countries is updated every Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the new restrictions enter into force as of the Monday of the following week.
Where and how should one take the second test after arriving from abroad
(six days after receiving the results of the first test)?
- Repeat testing for Estonian citizens and individuals with an Estonian residence permit, including individuals with an Estonian identity document who have taken the first test in Estonia upon their arrival, will be arranged by the public testing call centre which will contact individuals to book a testing time. The second test is available free of charge if the individual’s country of origin or transit country before their arrival in Estonia was a risk country (or what is known as a ‘red’ country on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
- Repeat testing of those individuals who hold an Estonian identity document and who have taken the first test in a foreign country immediately before their arrival in Estonia is handled on the basis of individuals booking their own test times. Test times can be booked by calling the public testing centre on 678 0000 (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00). It would be advisable to make the call a few days in advance, but the test may not be taken earlier than on the sixth day after receiving the results of the first test.
- Foreign nationals who have given their first test in a foreign country immediately prior to their arrival in Estonia or who have provided a test in exchange for a fee at the Estonian border must book their own testing time with a paid coronavirus testing service provider. The contact details for such service providers can be found HERE. It is advisable to make the call a few days in advance (as there may be a queue for testing), but the test may not be taken earlier than on the sixth day after receiving the results of the first test.
Is testing also available for citizens of other countries who travel to Estonia?
Visitors to Estonia can take the test at the airport for the fee of 60 euros. The test may also be taken elsewhere based on a price list that is issued by the respective service provider. The service is provided by the following service providers, among others:
Can children and elderly people also take the test upon arrival from abroad?
There are no age restrictions that are applicable to testing.
Foreigners and individuals who do not have health insurance
Foreigners and individuals who do not have health insurance must contact their nearest family health centre in the event of their developing symptoms. In the case of a suspected viral upper respiratory tract disease (such as a fever, dry cough, or breathing difficulties), patients will be seen irrespective of whether or not they are included in the list of patients for the family health centre. This is emergency care that must be provided by any family physician.