Negative COVID-19 test must be shown on arrival to Estonia from January 15

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Coronavirus testing kit. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A negative coronavirus test must be presented on arrival to Estonia - or a test taken upon arrival - from January 15, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday. Currently, taking a test on arrival is voluntary not mandatory.

If a negative test is presented on arrival it must have been undertaken with 72 hours of departure.

A person who arrives with a valid negative test, or tests negative on arrival, must still quarantine until a second test has been taken with a negative result.

Reinsalu said at a government press conference on Thursday that the law will enter into force from January 15. He said the issue had been discussed with the foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania, and a similar principle will apply in these countries as well.

Testing facilities are on-site at Tallinn Airport and the Port of Tallinn and are free for Estonian citizens and residents. For people who do not fall into those categories, the test can be paid for onsite. Someone who takes their first test in Estonia will receive a text or email to book their second test seven days later.

Media Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kristina Ots told ERR the Health Board will develop a way to add a test taken elsewhere to the system so the person also receives an invitation for a second test.

Currently, two negative tests, the first taken on arrival and the second seven days later, allow a person to end their quarantine period after 7 days rather than 10. If a test is not taken then the person must quarantine for the full 10 days.

People should limit their movements until they receive their test results. Usually, a result is given within 24 hours.

More information about testing can be found here.

What does quarantine mean?

This means that within 10 calendar days of their arrival in Estonia, people must refrain from unnecessary contacts and can leave their place of residence or permanent accommodation only for seeing a doctor and shopping for food, essentials and medicines, or in emergencies.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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