Urmas Sõõrumaa, the President of the NOC, noted that SYNLAB’s support is of great help in the current situation which has resulted in additional costs for the entire sporting community.
“The global sports life has not stooped, which means our athletes travel abroad a lot, and they need to be tested for coronavirus in order for competitions to be held safely. I am glad that the athletes preparing for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing will be able to follow rules and have a better overview of their health. We are grateful to SYNLAB for cooperation,” Sõõrumaa said.
Rainar Aamisepp, member of the board at SYNLAB Eesti: “SYNLAB would like to contribute to ensuring that cultural and sports life in Estonia continues. So, we are prepared to contribute to Estonian athletes’ smooth preparation for the Olympics by providing them with fast and, in their case, free opportunities to get tested. Numerous athletes and sports federations have approached us with requests to support their operation, and we have decided to do so in cooperation with the Sports Medicine Foundation (Estonian: Spordimeditsiini SA) and the Estonian Olympic Committee.”
Under the cooperation agreement, the top athletes participating in Team Estonia, the NOC’s programme for international competitions, can have a total of 2,500 coronavirus tests until the end of February 2022, which can be a test for the of the virus in the active stage or antibody test to determine if the person was previously ill with the coronavirus. The PCR test allows an athlete’s potential infection to be identified early, the person to be isolated immediately, and the spread of the virus among Olympic athletes to be limited. The antibody test allows it to be determined if the person was previously ill with the coronavirus, and a number of countries where our athletes go to take part in training camps and competitions require the results of this tests upon entering the state.
The following members of Team Estonia can be tested for coronavirus in case of reasonable necessity:
- Athletes of categories A, B, and C who are receiving Olympics preparation aid;
- athletes who are receiving youth elite sports aid;
- athletes of non-Olympic sports;
- members of the teams for ball games.
In order to ensure the availability of the service, the NOC has the right, if necessary, to limit the number of tests the same athlete or team can take.
To receive a referral for a test, an athlete or federation needs to contact the Sports Medicine Foundation which will decide whether testing is necessary. The athlete’s referral will be used by the call centre to contact them and offer an appointment for the testing sample to be taken at one of SYNLAB’s coronavirus testing stations in Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu, Jõhvi, or Narva. The athlete can receive the results in 24–48 hours in the digilugu.ee environment or the mobile application TESTI which can be downloaded at testi.me. The TESTI application allows a free certificate to be created which may be required for border crossing.
There is an exception for arriving in Estonia from abroad: in order to have a shorter period of self-isolation, the first test sample needs to be submitted in the area for passengers arriving without vehicles in terminals A and D of the Port of Tallinn or in the airport of Tallinn, where the referral is to be issued on the spot at Confido temporary testing station. The referral for the second test sample (not earlier than 7 days after the first days) will be automatically generated in the evening of the sixth day after the first test was performed.