Health board emergency medical chief supports cutting quarantine time

Dr. Arkadi Popov.
Dr. Arkadi Popov. Source: ERR

The head of the Health Board's (Terviseamet) emergency medical department says he is in favor of cutting the coronavirus quarantine period to 10 days, weekly Maaleht reports.

Doctor Arkadi Popov argues that since most individuals who contract COVID-19 experience symptoms as early as day six, the quarantine period should be reduced from the current 14 days, to 10 days, Maaleht reports (link in Estonian).

Shorter quarantine periods, also already introduced in Latvia, would be better for the economy as well, he says.

Beyond day six of a potential coronavirus infection, the likelihood of an individual having contracted it falls away if symptoms have not developed, Popov says.

The 14-day quarantine period is required for arrivals in Estonia for coronavirus high-risk countries, meaning those with a rate higher than 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, over the past 14 days. In practice this means arrivals from all European countries save Estonia's nearest neighbors, Latvia and Finland, along with the Vatican City State, need to quarantine, unless they take two coronavirus tests within a few days of each other, returning negative on both.

As for internal, domestic travel, Popov said that there was an anomaly where people traveling from Ida-Viru County – currently the region of Estonia with the highest rate of infections at 133.3 per 100,000 as of Wednesday – do not need to quarantine if they traveled to another part of the country, but arrivals from countries with lower rates than Ida-Viru County would need to do so.

Estonia's nationwide rate of coronavirus infections is currently a little over 50 per 100,000.

Popov said he would leave that decision to the politicians, however.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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