-11.4 ℃

The government imposes a testing obligation on those arriving from countries with high risk of the new strain of coronavirus


From December 1, the government will impose a testing obligation on all people who arrive in Estonia from countries where there is an increased risk of becoming infected with the new coronavirus strain – omicron. Initially, the restriction will apply for two weeks until 15 December (including).

“The government’s order aims to limit the extensive spread of the new omicron strain until we have more science-based information about the new strain. Among other things, we are waiting for the data on how infectious the omicron strain actually is and how serious the disease is compared to the delta strain. Vaccination is also more important than ever. Those who have not vaccinated yet, it is high time to do so, and those who are waiting for a booster dose, it is recommended to take it as soon as possible. Our major goal is to keep the society as open as possible also in the future by preventing the spread of virus.”

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has stated 8 countries in the South African region as countries at risk of omicron: South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. For epidemiological reasons, the Health Board has added also Egypt and Turkey to the list of high-risk countries from Estonia’s point of view. Upon arrival from all these countries, testing will become mandatory starting from tomorrow, regardless of whether you come to Estonia by air, land or sea.

Those arriving from high-risk countries of the omicron strain must take a test or remain in isolation

Those who have been vaccinated in the last 12 months or who have suffered from COVID-19 in the last six months do not need to remain in isolation if they take the PCR test immediately after entering the country with a negative result.

People who have not been vaccinated or have not suffered from COVID-19, can shorten the 10-day isolation by testing. For that, the first PCR test must be taken immediately after the arrival in Estonia and repeated no earlier than on the sixth day. If the results of both tests are negative, you can return to a normal life.

Until a negative test result is known, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people must remain in their place of residence or permanent place of stay.

If a person refuses to take the coronavirus test when arriving from a risk country, they must stay in self-isolation for 10 days. The test can be taken also at all other corona testing facilities besides the airport: https://koroonatestimine.ee/en/testing-sites/

Testing is free for the Estonian residents.

The test requirement applies to all passengers and does not depend on the way of arriving in Estonia. The testing and isolation obligation does not extend to persons travelling through Estonia as a transit country.

While testing is mandatory when arriving from high-risk countries to avoid or shorten the isolation, then when arriving from other countries, the government is strongly recommending a PCR test after the arrival.

The Government Communication Unit will publish the order and explanatory letter on the website kriis.ee.

Source: https://valitsus.ee/en