Health Board scraps free COVID-19 PCR testing

Coronavirus testing station.
Coronavirus testing station. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Free PCR testing for coronavirus carried out by the Health Board will be scrapped as the agency moves to sample-based testing, it was announced on Wednesday.

From October 31, free testing with a referral from the family doctor will stop for the elderly and risk groups.  

In the future, PCR tests will continue to be carried out in hospitals but rapid tests will be sufficient for other venues.

The sample tests are supplemented by analyzing wastewater and monitoring strains spreading in hospitals. The University of Tartu will also run its monitoring study until January 2023.

"Today, the Health Board is implementing other ways of risk forecasting and the need for mass testing of at-risk groups has disappeared," Mari-Anne Härma, deputy director general of the Health Board, said in a statement.

From now on, the Health Fund will pay for PCR testing when it is medically necessary.

Paid for PCR tests can still be booked on

At the start of the pandemic, the majority of people could be tested for coronavirus free, except for travel, but this was scaled down earlier this year and currently only applies to the elderly and risk groups.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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