Testing for the virus

Expand all questions

Starting from October 31, 2022, no more free PCR tests are done with suspected coronavirus (including for the elderly and risk groups).

In the future, PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 will continue in hospitals (e.g. if diagnosing the disease is necessary for making medical decisions), elsewhere it is currently sufficient to do a rapid antigen test when coronavirus is suspected.

Everyone still has the opportunity to test themselves is paid PCR testing locations (e.g. if you need the EU COVID-19 certificate), the locations of which can be found on the web page koroonatestimine.ee

Last updated: 31.10.2022 16:43

Did this response answer your question?

It is not necessary to confirm the result of a positive rapid test with a PCR or rapid antigen test done at a health care service provider, it is also possible to turn to the family doctor who will make a relevant note in the health information system and Digilugu.

If a certificate for sick leave or a recovery certificate is not necessary, and you can manage to symptoms of the disease yourself, it is not mandatory to contact the family health centre either. The infected persons do, however, have to stay home in isolation for at least days (provided that on the last day at least 24 hours have passed since the symptoms disappeared). The day the symptoms occurred is counted as Day 0 when calculating the number of days.

Instructions and recommendations for treating the coronavirus at home can be found at the web address perearstiselts.ee (in Estonian). If you start feeling worse, you should definitely contact your family doctor or call the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220. If your health concern is serious (e.g. difficulties breathing or need for emergency aid), call 112.

What do I need to take into account if I do not confirm my diagnosis with a PCR or a rapid antigen test at a health care service provider?

  • Creating an EU COVID recovery certificate with a QR code is only possible based on a result of a PCR test or a rapid antigen test meant for professional use, which has been entered into the health information system (digilugu.ee).
  • A doctor's entry cannot be used as a recovery certificate for travelling or in other countries.
  • It is not possible to do neither a PCR test nor a rapid antigen test retroactively (i.e. after you have recovered from the disease) in order to confirm recovery from COVID-19.

So, if you know that you need the internationally recognized recovery certificate (e.g. your vaccination certificate has expired or you do not have one), you should re-confirm the diagnosis with a PCR test or a rapid antigen test meant for professional use.

Last updated: 05.07.2022 22:53

Did this response answer your question?

  • It is possible to test for the coronavirus both for free (with a referral) and by paying.

  • Paid testing for SARS-CoV-2, using the PCR or rapid antigen testing methods, is an option for people who are not in a risk group but require an EU COVID recovery certificate that contains a QR code (e.g. to prove a negative result when travelling).

  • Free referral-based testing is available for the elderly (age 60+) and people who are in a risk group to their medical condition (e.g. Parkinson's disease, a stroke within the past year, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity, sleep apnoea etc.). The referral is issued by the family doctor if you are symptomatic of an upper respiratory infection. If you do not have a family doctor, contact the family health centre closest to you.

  • It is necessary to book an appointment for the testing, whether with or without a referral:

    • if you have a referral, you will receive a call from the testing centre in the order the referral letters are coming in, in order to agree upon a suitable time (NB! When receiving a referral for testing from your family doctor, always make sure that your phone number is correct, so that the testing centre may contact you).
    • you can get information about the paid testing possibilities from the web page: koroonatestimine.ee.

If you are not in a risk group neither due to your age nor due to your medical condition and you do not need an EU recovery certificate, do a rapid test if you suspect having the coronavirus. If you wish to have the positive result recorded in the health information system, contact your family doctor.

Last updated: 05.07.2022 23:06

Did this response answer your question?

If you are COVID-19 positive or suspect that you have been infected, stay home if you have any kind of symptoms. Avoid contact with other people, follow hand and respiratory hygiene. If at all possible, have all essentials delivered to you at home contact free. If possible, do a coronavirus test.

If you suspect that you have become ill:

  • If necessary, contact your family doctor. The family doctor will evaluate the need for testing with a referral, give medical advice and will also start a certificate of incapacity for work or a certificate for care leave (the so-called certificate for sick leave). If you are unable to contact your family doctor, call the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220 (+372 634 66 30). The calls are answered by medical professionals 24/7, advice is given in Estonian and Russian (advice in English every day from 15.00 to 17.00).

Foreigners and people who do not have health insurance may contact the nearest family health centre if necessary if they become symptomatic. If there is cause to suspect an upper respiratory virus (fever, dry cough, difficulties breathing), the patients are served regardless of whether they belong to the family doctor's list or not.

Testing

  • Free testing is available for the elderly (age 60+) and people who are in a risk group to their medical condition (e.g. Parkinson's disease, a stroke within the past year, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity, sleep apnoea etc.). See more: www.terviseamet.ee/en/testing-virus.
  • If the family doctor decides that testing is necessary, you will be given a digital referral letter. Make sure that your family doctor has your correct phone number so that the testing centre could contact you in order to book you a testing appointment. The testing call centre is making calls in the order the referrals come in.
  • If you are not in a risk group neither due to your age nor due to a medical condition, and you suspect having the coronavirus, do a rapid test if possible. If you wish to record a positive test result in the health information system, contact your family doctor.
  • If you need an EU COVID recovery certificate that has a QR code, you can go to have a paid test at a service provider suitable to you: koroonatestimine.ee.

If you have COVID-19:

  • If your test result was positive, avoid contacts with other people and stay home for at least five days (presuming that on the last day at least 24 hours have passed since the symptoms disappeared). Follow the recommendations of the family doctor, you can also find advice on how to treat the coronavirus at home from the guidelines of the Health Board (in Estonian). If your health condition worsens suddenly, call 112.
  • Make sure to inform your close contacts. Close contacts are recommended to remain in self-isolation for at least five days and monitor their health. More specific instructions on how to determine close contacts can be found on the web page of the Health Board.

If the results of your corona test were positive but you have no symptoms:

  • Stay home for at least five days. Avoid contacts with other people and follow hand and respiratory hygiene.

Last updated: 01.07.2022 16:59

Did this response answer your question?

Foreign nationals and persons without health insurance residing in Estonia must contact the nearest family health centre if they display symptoms. Through the family doctor, all patients with symptoms of upper respiratory viral diseases are referred for testing, regardless of age, co-morbidities and health insurance, including patients who are not on the family doctor's list.

Important information:

  • It is mandatory to wear a mask when coming to give a sample.
  • It is necessary to come to give the sample at the exact agreed upon time (not earlier or later).
  • Results are usually returned within 24 to 48 hours after the sample has been given, in a manner agreed upon by the institution that performed the test;
  • To people with an Estonian personal identification code the results are also accessible in the digilugu.ee environment.
  • The Health Board recommends remaining in self-isolation until the results have returned.

Last updated: 01.06.2022 13:14

Did this response answer your question?

It is possible to do the SARS-CoV-2 antigen-RTD test meant for self-testing at bigger pharmacies, in the presence and with the guidance of a pharmacy worker. If the test result is negative, you will be issued a certificate that confirms that the test was carried out at a pharmacy and its result was negative.

The certificate is meant for healthy persons who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus or recovered from the disease within the past six months. People who can be suspected of suffering from acute COVID-19 (including symptomatic persons or close contacts) are not being tested.

The whole testing process takes about 20 minutes (buying the service, self-testing, and staying in the observation area for 15 minutes). It is a paid service. Please bring an identification document along to the testing and follow the requirements in force for commercial establishments. Prior booking might be necessary.

For instance, the possibility to self-test is offered by different service locations of Apotheka, Benu, Südameapteek (all links in Estonian).

Last updated: 06.05.2022 15:37

Did this response answer your question?

There are several service providers who offer paid testing (the list in not exhaustive):

You can also find an overview of paid testing sites at koroonatestimine.ee.

Last updated: 07.05.2022 01:07

Did this response answer your question?

More information about paid testing can be found at koroonatestimine.ee.

In order to get tested for the coronavirus (including paid testing upon returning from a trip), it is necessary to book an appointment in advance, which can be done through a corresponding service provider. It is necessary to take along an identity document. The mask must be removed for the moment of identification.

Last updated: 07.05.2022 01:05

Did this response answer your question?

The self-isolation period of a close contact (7 calendar days) cannot be reduced with a test. However, you can avoid having to stay home by vaccinating against COVID-19, as self-isolation is not obligatory for asymptomatic close contacts who

  • have completed the initial course of vaccinations against COVID-19, achieved maximum protection after the last dose and no more than nine months have passed since the last dose (including minors);
  • have completed the course of vaccinations against COVID-19, achieved maximum protection and received a complementary dose (the so-called additional or booster dose) after the course was completed, and no more than one year has passed since receiving the complementary dose;
  • have been equated to a vaccinated person, i.e. have recovered from COVID-19 and received one dose of the vaccine and no more than nine months have passed since the last shot or the postitive result of a corona test.
  • have recovered from COVID-19 no more than 180 days ago.

However, it is recommended that people who have been vaccinated or recovered from the disease stay home for at least seven days if a person living with them has been infected. The new variants of the coronavirus spread quickly and people who have been vaccinated or have had the disease earlier can also get infected. A close contact within a family further increases the risk of infection and transmission of the infection.

Last updated: 09.02.2022 17:28

Did this response answer your question?

Throat rinse samples can be given by children under the age of 18 at public testing sites and at the SYNLAB site for paid testing. Upon coming to take a test, the child gets to choose whether he wants to do the regular nasopharyngeal test or a throat rinse test. The throat rinse test cannot be done at the border crossing points as the procedure takes longer and this would lengthen the waiting times of everybody who is doing the test.

It is recommended that in order to prepare the children, they should try out gargling with tap water at home with their parents before coming for testing. This way the children know what will be waiting for them in advance.

In order for the throat rinse sample to be gathered correctly, it can be given only at a testing location, instructed by a medical professional. To give a sample, the patient receives 10 millilitres of saline solution (sodium chloride) that he needs to gargle in his throat (it is important to distinguish this from a regular mouth wash). The medical professional pulls some of the throat rinse liquid from the cup into a special test-tube, marks it with the patient's information and sends it to a laboratory to be analysed with the same, PCR method. The results of the analysis come to the digilugu.ee portal within 24 to 48 hours, just like with the nasopharyngeal test. It is possible to issue the certificate necessary for travelling based on the throat rinse test as well.

Last updated: 06.05.2022 14:55

Did this response answer your question?

More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).