Symptoms, suspected infection and monitoring health

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To avoid contracting the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands with soap under running water, use alcohol-based hand disinfectant, if necessary.

  • Avoid contact. Keep a distance of at least two metres from people who are coughing or sneezing. If you stand too close to a person with symptoms of the disease, you may contract the disease yourself. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands, it is possible that the virus will be transmitted to you as well. 

If you suspect you might be infected:

  • If you have mild symptoms of a respiratory disease, follow the usual hand hygiene guidelines carefully and stay at home until you have recovered.

  • contact your family doctor who can also issue you a certificate of incapacity for work/care leave.

  • Monitor your health. If you have a fever, cough or breathing difficulties, seek help early. Call your family doctor or the GP hotline at 1220.

To stop the spread of microbes and the virus:

  • If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a single use tissue. Throw it into the bin immediately after, and then clean your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (the inside of your elbow), but do not use your bare hand.  
  • Covering your mouth and nose helps prevent spreading the virus. If you sneeze into a bare hand, you might transfer the contamination and viruses to others as well as to objects that you touch.  

Last updated: 28.01.2021 09:41

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COVID-19 symptoms are nonspecific and their severity can vary. The disease can run its course without symptoms of illness, but infection can also include severe pneumonia, and for people in risk groups, in worst case, the illness can end in death.

For most people infected with the coronavirus, the illness runs its course without complications and they get well. It is important to point out that the virus risk group includes the elderly and people with chronic diseases, who exhibit the severe forms of the disease more frequently.

Last updated: 22.09.2020 16:47

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Monitor your health and consult your employer as to whether it is possible to work remotely. Keep away from other people while complying with all the hygiene rules.

If you have no health complaints and you have not been in close contact with any tested infected persons, your doctor has no reason to give you a certificate for sick leave.

However, a close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus is considered to be the same as an infection. Your doctor can give you

  • a certificate for sick leave if you were in close contact with a person infected with coronavirus,
  • a certificate for care leave if your child has been in close contact with a person infected with coronavirus.

NB! The certificates for sick leave or care leave can be issued by your doctor only if your employer has officially registered your employment and you have valid health insurance.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:33

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Yes, as of 19 March, you can use the self-assessment environment Koroonatest.ee. By answering some simple questions, the tool will help you assess your risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. By responding to the survey, the user of the environment will receive further recommendations on how to act in his/her situation.

The web-based solution was born on 13-15 March at a hackathon organised by Garage48 and Accelerate Estonia, which aimed to develop solutions that help to mitigate the situation created by the spread of coronavirus. One of the solutions was the development of an online assessment questionnaire, created by the startup Montonio Finance, which now cooperates with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Health Board to run the environment.

Last updated: 24.09.2020 15:57

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If a factory worker exhibits symptoms (cough, breathing difficulties or fever) that may indicate an acute respiratory infection, including coronavirus, he/she should stay at home immediately and contact their general practitioner who will arrange for testing if necessary.

Other members of the workforce should monitor their health and, if symptoms occur, stay at home and contact their general practitioner. In order to protect themselves and others, all members of the workforce should follow hygiene requirements and wash their hands frequently.

Last updated: 24.09.2020 15:58

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People who have been in close contact with an infected person must stay at home in self-isolation for 10 days and monitor their health.

The rest of the employees may return to work after the premises have been cleaned and disinfected.

People who have been in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus can contact their family doctor to apply for the certificate of incapacity for work for the duration of the self-isolation.

The Health Board recommends that a close contact do a test after the end of the 10 calendar day quarantine period, in order to discover a possible case of asymptomatic coronavirus.

Starting from February 2, there is a derogation from having to quarantine as a close contact for people who have been vaccinated against or had the coronavirus within the last six months. A person who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must still wear a mask indoors during the next 10 days or cover their nose and mouth if they have been a close contact. The obligation to wear a mask does not extend to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not possible due to health considerations, the nature of the work or activities, or for some other substantial reason. Additionally, an asymptomatic close contact who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must monitor their health closely during the next 10 days and follow the measures enacted by the government and the Health Board to stop the spread of the virus. Following the measures is necessary as there is still very little scientific information on how probable it is that people who have had the coronavirus or are vaccinated against it can still get infected with or spread COVID-19.

Last updated: 03.02.2021 14:53

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A person is infectious up to 10 days after the first symptoms of the disease have appeared.

A person is declared healed if she has no fever for at least three days and symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (particularly a cough and a sore throat) have dissipated.

The decision about being healed and able to return to the society is made by the family doctor.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:29

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  • Monitor the health of your staff.

  • Send employees with symptoms home for 10 days.

  • Any member of staff who has come into contact with an infected person must monitor their own health, and if symptoms appear, they should remain at home for 10 days and follow the self-isolation guidelines.

  • Monitor cleanliness and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

  • Arrange for your staff a possibility to wash their hands at least once every two hours (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds). If it is not possible to wash hands, they should disinfect their hands with antiseptic handwash with a minimum 70% ethanol content. Hands that are visibly dirty must certainly be washed.

  • Recommend that staff who come into contact with customers wear rubber gloves as well as textile gloves. Hands should be disinfected before gloves are put on and after they are taken off.

Please note! Single-use gloves should not be washed or disinfected. They should be removed when leaving the cash register: pinch the material of the other glove from the section of the glove between the palm and the wrist; pull the glove off so that it turns inside out (with the contaminated side inside). Then the gloves should be disposed into a bag which can be sealed.

  • When wearing protective masks, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maximum usage time.

  • Single use masks can only be used once. Washing can damage the material of the mask and reduce the effectiveness of the mask.

  • Work garments, (including textile gloves) should be washed after every shift, at the highest temperature allowed for the material. Work footwear should also be cleaned after every shift.

Adjust the work arrangements.

  • The employees have to maintain at least a 2-metre distance with the customers.

  • Minimise contact with the customers for these members of the staff who belong to risk groups, (particularly older employees or those with chronic illnesses or immune-compromised) persons.

  • If possible, arrange work in single shift, or organise the handing over of the shift so that the employees of different shifts would not come into contact with each other.

Guidelines and instructions:

Print-out materials and guidelines of the Health Board

More information can be found on the website of the Agriculture and Food Board ( January 1, 2021, the Veterinary and Food Board was merged with Agriculture Board as Agriculture and Food Board.).

Recommendations of the Agriculture and Food Board to food business operators (January 1, 2021, the Veterinary and Food Board was merged with Agriculture Board as Agriculture and Food Board).

Recommendations of the Labour Inspectorate to employees and employers

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:43

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You have to stay at home if you came into contact with an infected person or you are symptomatic (you have a cough, trouble breathing, or a fever).

If your colleague gets symptoms that indicate an acute respiratory infection, including the coronavirus, they have to go home immediately, and contact their family doctor who will arrange for the coronavirus test, should it be necessary.

If your colleague's corona test results were positive, the employer has to establish the people who have been in close contact with the infected person. If you are among them, you will have to stay home for 10 days and monitor your health. As a contact with an infected person is considered equivalent to getting infected, the doctor can issue you a certificate for sick leave.

The Health Board recommends that a close contact do a test after the end of the 10 calendar day quarantine period, in order to discover a possible case of asymptomatic coronavirus.

Starting from February 2, there is a derogation from having to quarantine as a close contact for people who have been vaccinated against or had the coronavirus within the last six months. A person who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must still wear a mask indoors during the next 10 days or cover their nose and mouth if they have been a close contact. The obligation to wear a mask does not extend to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not possible due to health considerations, the nature of the work or activities, or for some other substantial reason. Additionally, an asymptomatic close contact who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must monitor their health closely during the next 10 days and follow the measures enacted by the government and the Health Board to stop the spread of the virus. Following the measures is necessary as there is still very little scientific information on how probable it is that people who have had the coronavirus or are vaccinated against it can still get infected with or spread COVID-19.

Last updated: 03.02.2021 14:53

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If you were in close contact with a person who has COVID-19, you should notify the Health Board of this by calling +372 794 3500. From there you will be referred to the specialist in charge of establishing close contacts in your region who will ask some specifying questions from you and will register the close contact.

More specific guidelines for a close contact can be found here: https://www.terviseamet.ee/sites/default/files/Nakkushaigused/Juhendid/COVID-19/juhis_covid-19_haige_lahikontaktsele_eng_30.10.20.pdf

Last updated: 25.01.2021 09:42

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Yes, children are subjected to the same rules as adults:

  • A child who has a confirmed COVID-19 infection must remain in isolation for at least 10 days until full recovery.

  • A child suspected of COVID-19 infection must remain in isolation in their place of residence or permanent stay and cannot go to any institutions, including school or a public space or a playground.

  • A child who has been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 must remain in self-isolation for 10 days.

  • When returning from a country at risk from the COVID-19 infection, children must remain in self-isolation for 10 days, testing does not exempt them from the obligation to self-isolate. When returning from the trip, it is possible to reduce the period of self-isolation by taking two coronavirus tests - one immediately upon arrival in Estonia and the other test not sooner than six days after the results of the first test. Information about at-risk countries is available at the home page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The only difference regarding adults and children is that children under the age of 12 do not have to wear a mask.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:48

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If you have been in close contact with someone who has had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, you need to remain in self-isolation. A person who has been in close contact with a person who has been in close contact with a person infected with coronavirus does not need to remain in self-isolation if they display no symptoms.

If you suspect you have contracted the disease you must monitor your health for 10 days. If you have symptoms and you suspect that you might have been infected with the coronavirus, call your family doctor.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:53

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If you receive an SMS or a robocall from the Health Board informing you that you have been in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus, it means that according to information available to the Health Board, you have been in close contact with a person who has received laboratory and /or a doctor's confirmation that they have the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The SMS that a close contact receives contains the start and end date of self-isolation. This also applies in a situation where contact with the coronavirus has happened by way of the surrounding environment (contaminated surfaces, buildings etc).

Due to the maximum incubation period of the COVID-19 infection, we ask that you stay at home for 10 days starting from the close contact and monitor your health. Let your family doctor know of your contact with a corona infected person at first chance. If your health condition worsens, again inform your family doctor and follow your family doctor's further instructions.

People living with you do not need to stay at home if they are not symptomatic, they can go on with their regular lives.

The Health Board recommends that a close contact do a test after the end of the 10 calendar day quarantine period, in order to discover a possible case of asymptomatic coronavirus.

Instructions for close contacts of a person infected with COVID-19 can be found on the web page of the Health Board: https://www.terviseamet.ee/en/instructions-covid-19-close-contacts

Starting from February 2, there is a derogation from having to quarantine as a close contact for people who have been vaccinated against or had the coronavirus within the last six months. A person who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must still wear a mask indoors or cover their nose and mouth if they have been a close contact. The obligation to wear a mask does not extend to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not possible due to health considerations, the nature of the work or activities, or for some other substantial reason. Additionally, an asymptomatic close contact who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must monitor their health closely during the next 10 days and follow the measures enacted by the government and the Health Board to stop the spread of the virus. Following the measures is necessary as there is still very little scientific information on how probable it is that people who have had the coronavirus or are vaccinated against it can still get infected with or spread COVID-19.

Last updated: 03.02.2021 14:53

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According to the requirements, a person who knows that they have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 during the previous 10 calendar days, must stay at home or in their permanent place of residence, regardless of whether they have been contacted by the Health Board.

The period of 10 calendar days will be counted from the time when the patient develops symptoms or, in the absence of symptoms, from the date of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. If you have been in close contact with the infected person then the quarantine period of 10 calendar days will be counted from the date of the most recent contact with the infected person.

The 10-day limit does not apply if you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you monitor your health closely, follow the measures established by the Government of the Republic or the Health Board to prevent the spread of a possible infectious disease, and take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the infectious disease, and if the following applies:

  • if you have received an order from a healthcare professional or police officer to leave your place of stay or permanent residence,

  • if you leave your place of stay or permanent residence when referred by a health care professional for a treatment, or in the event of an emergency endangering the life or health,

  • if you are a healthcare professional who, at the employer's discretion, and on the advice of the Health Board, carries out essential duties,

  • if you are an essential worker, who, at the decision of the employer, and at the advice of the Health Board, performs unavoidable, essential tasks, and without whom it would not be possible to perform the tasks of the state or local government entity, or the performance of the tasks of the state or local government entity would be seriously disrupted. If you are the necessary for the continuity of the vital service, essential tasks may be carried out only on the decision of the employer and on the basis of a justified proposal of the latter, and on the co-ordination of the authority or local government unit referred to in § 36 of the Emergency Act and the advice of the Health Board,

  • when purchasing essential items near your residence or place of stay, and it is not possible to access these items any other way,

  • If there is no contact between you and a person diagnosed with COVID-19 who lives or stays in the same place of residence,

  • when spending time outdoors while avoiding contacts with all other people.

The requirement to remain in quarantine for 10 days applies to a person living, permanently in the same place of residence or otherwise in close contact with the patient. The Health Board does recommend that a close contact do a test after the end of the 10 calendar day self-isolation period, in order to discover a possible case of asymptomatic coronavirus.

Last updated: 03.02.2021 14:52

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It is difficult to assess the situation without knowing how many people are attending - 20 persons or a large concert hall audience. If you have downloaded the mobile application HOIA, you will receive notification of your close contact from the app. A person who has received the close contact notification needs to remain in self-isolation.

A close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 means contact for at least 15 min at a distance less than two metres (for more information https://www.terviseamet.ee/et/olen-lahikontaktne). The Health Board is not able to reach out to all the people who have been in close contact with an infected person very quickly. If you suspect that you have been in close contact, the right thing to do is to stay home in self-isolation and inform your family doctor about possible contact as soon as possible, and they will help you to determine how long you will need to remain in isolation.

Last updated: 22.12.2020 21:07

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  • If an employee falls ill outside of work, they must stay at home.
  • If an employee falls ill at work, they must leave immediately.
  • Person who has fallen ill should contact their GP, who will decide on the diagnosis of COVID-19, the need for testing and the certificate of incapacity for work.
  • In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important that the affected employee informs the employer that the diagnosis of COVID-19 has been confirmed. The employer is informed in accordance with the agreement between the employee and the employer.
  • The employer, being informed of the employee's diagnosis of COVID-19, co-operates with the regional department of the Health Board in order to determine the employee's close contact at work and provide guidelines for further work organisation.
  • Premises potentially contaminated with the virus must be closed and not used before being properly cleaned, disinfected and aired.
  • When cleaning rooms and surfaces, follow the recommendations of the Health Board for cleaning and disinfection (PDF).
  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed, people who were in close contact with the affected employee during the symptomatic period or up to two days before must be identified at the workplace. Close contacts are determined by the regional department of the Health Board in co-operation with the employer.
  • Persons who have been in close contact with the infected person must closely monitor their health and stay in isolation for the next 10 days. Self-isolation can be shortened if the SARSCoV-2 PCR test is performed on the 10th day after being in close contact with the infected person.
  • The rest of the employees can continue their daily work but should monitor their health more closely.
  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 of an infected employee is not confirmed, other employees may continue to work, but must monitor their health for 10 days.

Starting from February 2, there is a derogation from having to quarantine as a close contact for people who have been vaccinated against or had the coronavirus within the last six months. A person who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must still wear a mask indoors during the next 10 days or cover their nose and mouth if they have been a close contact. The obligation to wear a mask does not extend to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not possible due to health considerations, the nature of the work or activities, or for some other substantial reason. Additionally, an asymptomatic close contact who has had the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it must monitor their health closely during the next 10 days and follow the measures enacted by the government and the Health Board to stop the spread of the virus. Following the measures is necessary as there is still very little scientific information on how probable it is that people who have had the coronavirus or are vaccinated against it can still spread COVID-19.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 18:47

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If you have had the coronavirus within the last 6 months, you can get the reply to the referral to testing or the relevant epicrisis (the personal data of the person who was analyzed, the methodology of the analysis, its results, the place and time of the analysis performed, who performed it and their information) from digilugu.ee and present this data on the border or to your employer, if necessary.

If you had the coronavirus while abroad, you can prove having had it by presenting a certificate issued by a doctor in another country, proving that you have had the coronavirus (the certificate must be in Latin or Slavic alphabet, in Estonian, Russian or English and contain the personal data of the person that was analyzed, e.g. the methodology of the analysis, its results, the place and time of the analysis performed, who performed it and their information). The proof can also be an officially certified printout from a database of another country.

Last updated: 05.02.2021 12:30

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Wearing a mask is necessary as it is not currently definitively clear whether suffering through COVID-19 and vaccination rule out the possibility of spreading the virus. It has also not been ruled out that a person who has had the virus can catch it again. The infection risk is also very high in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated: 17.02.2021 09:08

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