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.
- In the weekends and on public holidays between 08:00 and 17:00, any patient with symptoms of a viral upper respiratory tract disease (whether or not they have a family physician) can call the family physician advisory line (1220) and will if necessary be referred to COVID-19 testing by a doctor.
- Any individuals who arrive in Estonia from COVID-19 risk countries can get tested for coronavirus at Tallinn Airport or at the Port of Tallinn in order to be able to return to work sooner and reduce the duration of their compulsory self-isolation period. Anyone who is returns to Estonia by land or through the Port of Paldiski can arrange a suitable time for testing by calling the public testing centre on the special telephone number: 678 0000 (Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00).
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- 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.
The laboratories of the Health Board, Tartu University Hospital, Synlab, the North Estonia Medical Centre Foundation, Ida-Viru Central Hospital, West Tallinn Central Hospital, East Tallinn Central Hospital, Pärnu Hospital, and Kuressaare Hospital all have the capability of being able to test for the COVID-19 viral disease in Estonia.
The list of coronavirus testing sites can be found here»
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).
Anyone who returns to Estonia from COVID-19 risk countries can have themselves tested for coronavirus at Tallinn airport or at the port in order to reduce the duration of their compulsory self-isolation period and to be able to return to work sooner.
The testing is voluntary and free of charge for residents of Estonia. For foreign nationals, the test costs 67 euros which can be paid by card on site.
Tests can be taken in the pedestrian area of terminals A and D of the Port of Tallinn as well as at a temporary testing point at Tallinn Airport based on an order (issued on the spot). The referral is issued on the spot and the traveller must specify the country from which they are arriving and the time of their arrival in order to be able to obtain a referral. It takes about five minutes to complete the referral note and provide a sample. People are tested on a first-come, first-served basis at the port and the airport. The testing points are open during the arrival of vessels and airplanes and are closed between arrivals.
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.
In Estonia, priority for testing is given to people with symptoms. Therefore, the waiting time is approximately one to two days, which is why it is recommended that you book a time in advance as soon as your time of arrival in Estonia is known.
The samples can be given at the public testing sites all over Estonia which are located in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Paide, Rakvere, Kuressaare, Võru and Kärdla.
The second sample can only be given at a pre-booked time at the public testing sites in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Paide, Rakvere, Valga, Võru, Rapla, Kuressaare and Kärdla.
Testing is conducted by a public testing organisation on the basis of a contract which has been concluded with the Health Board. All collected samples are analysed at the SYNLAB laboratory in Tallinn.
Until the test results are known, one must be in complete self-isolation. In the case of a negative result, the person will be notified via text message, positive results will be communicated over the phone. The result will also be visible when entering the health information system with an ID card. In the case of a negative test result, the person must stay in limited self-isolation for the first seven days following arrival to Estonia, i.e. the person can go to work and, for example, a shop, but unnecessary contacts must be avoided. The person should also keep their distance from others while at work.
A second test must be performed no earlier than 7 days after the results of the first test, and if it is also negative, a person can resume their daily life. This means that after two negative tests a person will not be subjected to the full 10-day period of restriction on the freedom of movement, which applies to everyone coming from high-risk countries who did not undergo testing. The public Testing Call Centre will get in touch with a person to book a time for the second test.
An updated list of risk countries is published every Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comes into force on the Monday of the following week.
Taking a repeat test
- Anyone who has provided their sample free of charge will receive a call from the testing call centre and will be offered a time slot in which they can take a repeat test at a public testing site in Estonia.
- Anyone who has used a paid testing service must themselves find a suitable service provider so that they can take their second test (such as SYNLAB Eesti, Medicum, Qvalitas Medical Centre, or Confido) as this service will not be provided automatically.
- Taking the test will not shorten the 10-day quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives from third countries.
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 67 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:
Do I have to get tested upon arrival in Estonia?
Testing is voluntary.
Who can take a test when arriving from abroad?
- Individuals with an Estonian personal identification code who are arriving from at-risk countries can take the test free of charge.
An updated list of at-risk countries is published every Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comes into force on the Monday of the following week.
- The test can be taken based on the production of an identification document.
- Taking the test is voluntary and the option can be used to shorten the required period of self-isolation.
- In the event of individuals travelling in by land, testing must be pre-booked by calling the testing call centre: +372 678 0000 (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00).
- Children who have an Estonian personal identification code may take the test but that will not exempt them from the obligation to self-isolate.
- Any travellers who do not have an Estonian personal identification code can take the coronavirus test at the port or airport for a fee of 67 euros which can be paid by card. The test may also be taken elsewhere based on a price list that is issued by the respective service provider.
Can children and elderly people also take the test upon arrival from abroad?
There are no age restrictions that are applicable to testing.
Is an individual who has arrived from abroad required to prove at the testing site which country they have travelled from? How should they do this?
Providing documentation to show where you have travelled from to reach the testing site is not required. You will only be asked to specify your country of origin and your time of arrival.
An updated list of at-risk countries is published every Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comes into force on the Monday of the following week. Up-to-date information can be found at: www.vm.ee/en/information-countries-and-self-isolation-requirements-passengers.
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.
☎️ The family physician advisory line 1220 or +372 634 6630 (also for calls from abroad).