Healthcare workers can return to work before end of quarantine period

A health care worker treating a coronavirus patient at Tallinn's North Estonia Medical Center.
A health care worker treating a coronavirus patient at Tallinn's North Estonia Medical Center. Source: PERH

Healthcare workers will no longer have to wait until the end of the official isolation period to return to work, the Health Board has said. Additionally, a PCR test will no longer be required for close contacts.

Mari-Anne Härma, acting director general of the Health Board, said workers will be able to return to work if they have not had a fever for 24 hours, symptoms are in decline and an FFP2 or FFP3 mask is worn.

The record number of coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron strain has forced many healthcare workers into self-isolation, leading to deficit of workers.

"The disease caused by this specific strain of coronavirus is generally treated more quickly and easily, which gives us the confidence that, in order to ensure that hospitals and healthcare facilities are in short supply, we can allow workers to return to work before the end of the quarantine period," she said.

Additionally, from Monday, the agency will no longer recommend positive rapid tests are confirmed by PCR test. This also applies to people who are known close contacts and go on to develop symptoms suggesting coronavirus.

"In this case, the patient should stay at home and, if necessary, consult a family doctor to open a certificate of incapacity for work. A PCR test is not necessarily necessary to confirm the illness," said Härma.

Free PCR testing will remain available until the end of February.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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