A rapid coronavirus testing point has been opened in the port city of Paldiski, primarily to allow for departures to Sweden and to comply with entry requirements there, though testing is open to all who book.
The facility was set up by cargo shipping line DFDS at the northern port terminal, in cooperation with Confido, and meets Sweden's requirement that arrivals there have proof of a negative PCR (nasal) or antigen coronavirus test result which was taken no earlier than 48 hours before entering the country. The latter type of test's results can be obtained more quickly out of the two.
Peeter Ojasaar, director of the Swedish and Finnish DFDS routes from Estonia, said: "We want to keep the journey as smooth as possible for our customers in the current situation, and so we are giving them the opportunity to take a rapid coronavirus test comfortably, in Paldiski's Northern Port before the ship leaves for Kapellskär (Sweden). Testing takes 15-30 minutes, and the certificate is issued in English to the individual's provided e-mail. The testing point is open to everyone - both surrounding residents and other passengers."
Testing will initially be available every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., i.e. up to one hour before the departure of the DFDS evening vessel at 10 p.m., BNS reports, though depending on passenger interest the facility may be rolled out ahead of morning departures too.
Test cost: €40
The test costs €40 per person and has to be booked in advance here.
Liis Ader, coordinator of Confido's testing points, said: "PCR tests are still the 'gold standard' for detecting coronavirus, but they have the disadvantage of a long waiting time for the result, which means that the test cannot be performed immediately before travel."
"Today, instead of a PCR test, more and more countries are accepting a coronavirus antigen test, which has the advantage of speed. This makes it possible to determine immediately before the trip whether a person is most likely to have a coronavirus infection," she went on.
The antigen test is not intended for use in individuals with suspected acute COVID-19 disease, BNS reports.
A protective mask must be worn during testing.
Since February 6, all arrivals in Sweden aged 18 and over are required to provide proof of a negative PCR test, antigen test or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), test carried out no earlier than 48 hours before entry. Sweden's authorities may also change the conditions of entry and stay, BNS reports.
Paldiski's port is administered by the Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam), a largely state-owned concern. Paldiski lies about 40 km west of Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte