In order to contain and prevent the spread of coronavirus at the first WRC rally in Estonia, Rally Estonia and SYNLAB Estonia have signed a cooperation agreement, according to which all drivers, their team members and people connected to the competition center at the Estonian National Museum will take the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus test.
SYNLAB will open special drive-in sampling points for testing for the WRC teams at Tallinn Airport, Tallinn Port Terminals A and D, and SYNLAB’s location in Tartu, Teguri 37B, for any arrivals coming through Latvia. Nasal samples are to be tested in SYNLAB's Tallinn laboratory, where over 1000 laboratory analyses are performed within a few days.
Rally Estonia director Urmo Aava: “Many teams are coming from the so-called risk countries, such as Spain, France and elsewhere, where the spread of the coronavirus is high, to participate in the rally. In cooperation with the rally management team and our partners, we will do our best to ensure that the rally does not bring any new corona cases to Estonia. To ensure this, we have mandatory testing in cooperation with SYNLAB for all crews and teams as soon as they arrive, followed by self-isolation until the test result is known. Only after a negative result are they allowed into the competition area. For those who have arrived earlier in Estonia must pass the retest, 24 hours before receiving their accreditation.”
Rainar Aamisepp, Chairman of the Board of SYNLAB Estonia: “The first WRC rally in Estonia is an important milestone for the reputation of our country, which is why it is extremely important that this major event takes place as safely as possible in these difficult times for the whole world. For three months, Rally Estonia volunteers rushed to the rescue during the crisis from mid-March, assisting in bringing corona samples to our central laboratory from all over Estonia. Of course, we fully support them in organizing a major event for them and for the whole of Estonia, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the rally.
SYNLAB has well-established experience in medical security for major sporting events. UEFA entrusted us, as Europe's largest laboratory service provider, with pre-testing for football events in 2020-2021. A few days ago, the finals tournaments of this year's European League and Champions League ended. The national league, women's and men's national team qualifiers cycle begins, the 2021 Champions League and European League qualifiers begins, as well as youth tournaments. SYNLAB also tests all foreign competitors arriving for the Tallinn Ironman. The SYNLAB team will make an extra effort, in order for the operational success of the WRC rally - we will set up additional processes in the laboratory, so that all riders and teams can be fully committed to the rally.”
In order for the samples to reach the SYNLAB central laboratory in Tallinn as quickly as possible from the Rally Estonia center in Tartu, Rally Estonia volunteers once again come to the rescue. During rally peak time, they will begin driving to the capital hourly with the collected test samples.
"All test takers will receive their results via phone, and team leaders and the rally medical manager will also be able to see the test results in real time. This fast flow of data enables immediate isolation and the reorganization of the teams work.” explained Aava, of why a new approach has been used for the first time in Estonia in cooperation with SYNLAB laboratory.
“Many thanks to the Port of Tallinn and Tallinn Airport, who cooperated extensively in creating the most suitable test sites. This provided an opportunity to create new special purpose testing points, in addition to those where we serve the people of Estonia on a daily basis. This way, we can best contribute to the safest possible sporting event - Rally Estonia,” said Aamisepp.
To prevent the spread of the virus, Rally Estonia spectators are divided into 16 different groups, with each group consisting of 1,000 people who have bought tickets. The groups do not meet each other and each group is permitted to only specific rally stages to which they have access. All spectators are advised to come to the stages with their own personal mask, if necessary, masks will also be distributed in the spectator areas, where there is also the possibility for hand disinfection.
A reminder for Rally Estonia visitors while participating in the event and staying in the spectator areas: