A special flight organized by the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce will bring foreign workers from Ukraine to Estonia on Tuesday, who, by an order of the government, must be tested twice for coronavirus and stay in quarantine for 14 days before they can start working.
The government has given permission for Ukrainian workers to enter Estonia from July 6.
Vahur Tõnissoo, board member of the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, said: "Cows need to be milked and agricultural work needs to be done, therefore, many Estonian businesses need helping hands from abroad. Since no regular flights are currently taking place between Ukraine and Estonia and movement between the countries is difficult, we are organizing a charter flight at the request of employers in order for workers necessary for Estonian agricultural companies to be able to come to Estonia. There are mainly people heading to work in animal farming and horticulture, but also workers for other spheres, among the 170 or so workers about to arrive in Estonia."
Tõnissoo pointed out that people with symptoms are not allowed to board the flight. Onboard the aircraft, the carrier will provide the passengers with face masks which must be worn throughout the flight.
"In collaboration with the Synlab medical lab, we will arrange for the testing of people arriving in Estonia for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at Tallinn Airport. The people arriving by the special flight will be met at the airport by representatives of employers, who will see to the transport of the workers to their place of accommodation in Estonia and observance of the quarantine requirement," Tõnissoo said.
In the organization of the special flight, the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce worked closely with the Police and Border Guard Board, the Tax and Customs Board and other authorities.
The company Synlab has set up a special testing station at Tallinn Airport where a nasal swab test for the detection of potential coronavirus infection will be taken from all foreign workers by trained medical personnel.
The samples will be transported to the molecular diagnostics lab of Synlab in Tallinn, from where the results of the tests will reach Estonian employers with the approval of the people tested on Wednesday morning.
Due to the nature of the infection and according to the order of the government, a repeat test will be taken at the end of the quarantine period. The taking of the repeat test will be seen by employers across Estonia using the closest place to them where a coronavirus test can be taken. Both tests are paid for by the employer that has hired the worker.
Editor: Roberta Vaino