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Coronavirus FAQ

About the covid-19 coronavirus

The Koronavilkku app has alerted me – what do I do?

If the Koronavilkku app on your phone sends you an alert, it means you have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus. The app will provide you with instructions about what to do.
Please book a test when you receive an alert of potential exposure on Koronavilkku.
You will not be placed into quarantine based on the app’s alert. The Epidemiologic Operations Unit will contact you if the infection chain tracing determines you have been in close contact with an infected person.

Do you suspect a coronavirus infection? Seek out testing.

Coronavirus vaccinations 

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about coronavirus vaccinations here: Frequently asked questions

How will the vaccinations affect safety measures such as handwashing and mask use?

It is still important that everyone follow the recommended safety measures after vaccinations begin.

Do your part: Practice social distancing

Each of us can help to stop the spread of covid-19 by avoiding close contact with people outside our homes. When you go out in public, maintain at least a two-metre distance from others.

Do I have the coronavirus?


How to book a coronavirus test and what to do in quarantine 


Coping with the coronavirus pandemic as a community


I'm worried I've been exposed to coronavirus. What should I do?

Use the Coronavirus symptom checker to first assess your condition, if possible. 

If you cannot do the online assessment, call the City of Helsinki’s Coronavirus Helpline at tel. 09 310 10024 every day of the week from 8 am to 6 pm. At other times, call the national Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117

What kind of symptoms are associated with a coronavirus infection?

The symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle pain, sore throat, a runny nose, shortness of breath and a loss of sense of smell and/or taste. Everyone with symptoms of a coronavirus infection is referred to a coronavirus test.
THL:Treatment of coronavirus and instructions for the infected

I've got flu symptoms. Could it be the coronavirus?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in the list above, seek out covid-19 testing.

I suspect I've contracted the coronavirus, what should I do?

Use the Coronavirus symptom checker to first assess your condition, if possible. 

If you cannot do the online assessment, ring the City of Helsinki's Coronavirus Helpline at tel. 09 310 10024,  open every day of the week from 8 am to 6 pm. At other times, call the Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117

The helplines will refer you to either a coronavirus test or to a corona health station.

Everyone with symptoms of a coronavirus infection is referred to a coronavirus test. These symtoms are fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle pain, sore throat, a runny nose, shortness of breath and a loss of sense of smell and/or taste.

What to do when your child becomes ill with a respiratory infection

Once guardians determine that a child has symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, the child may not go to school or daycare. A child should be brought to a test if a caregiver or health care professional concludes that the symptoms match those of a coronavirus infection.

Even if the symptoms are mild, it’s especially important to test a child immediately if they or a family member has been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus or the family has travelled abroad in the last 10 days.

If a child under school age has mild symptoms, the situation can be monitored for a couple of days at home. A child with symptoms may not attend early childhood education. If the symptoms continue, have the child tested for covid-19.

Please note: A coronavirus test is always necessary if a schoolchild or young person has coronavirus symptoms.
As a guardian, you can also act on behalf of a child under the age of 15 and book an appointment through the symptom assessment on Omaolo. You can also make an appointment by calling the Coronavirus Helpline  at tel. 09 310 10024 every day of the week 8–18.
Coronavirus testing in Helsinki 
Instructions for guardians of children in daycare and school (pdf) 
THL: Children and the coronavirus

In what kind of situation do I need to see a doctor?

People with pronounced breathing difficulties, a significantly prolonged fever and a greatly weakened general condition should see a doctor. If you experience any of these symptoms, ring the  City of Helsinki's Coronavirus Helpline at tel. 09 310 10024, which is open every day of the week from 8 am to 6 pm. At other times, call the Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117  

In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 112

Where are coronavirus patients being treated in Helsinki?

All Helsinki residents with symptoms of covid-19 or a respiratory infection are referred to one of two corona health stations in Helsinki for a doctor's diagnosis. The coronavirus health stations are located in the central district of Laakso and the northern district of Malmi.

Patients with symptoms of a respiratory infection are not treated at any of the city's other health stations. This means it is safe to visit your regular local health station, if you have a medical issue. 

Before leaving your home, call the Coronavirus Helpline or the Medical Helpline (numbers above) for instructions over the telephone about what to do.

Customers of the corona health stations are treated according to the urgency of their medical condition. It is not possible to make an appointment.

In most cases, the infection passes within a week a week of home rest, without medical care. Symptoms can be eased with painkillers.
Laakso corona health station
Malmi corona health station

Can I still visit hospitals, senior centres or service centres?

Helsinki has entered a coronavirus spreading phase and the city's social and healthcare services have been forced to restrict patient and customer visits at many facilities. The restrictions are necessary to protect patients, residents and personnel from covid-19 infections. 

Guidelines for visits to Helsinki hospitals

Only close relatives can visit patients in the Helsinki City Hospitals. A patient can have one visitor once a day. All visits must be agreed on in advance with the staff.

The recommended length of a visit is 15 minutes and you can only visit if you are healthy. The visits are organised in the patient rooms.

You must wear a surgical mask during the visit and maintain good hand hygiene. The visitors must maintain a safe distance of over two meters. E.g. hugging is not allowed.

Relatives can visit patients in terminal care for two hours. There can be up to two visitors at a time.

You can always be in contact with a relative or friend also by phone.

Instructions for making indoor visits to senior centres, service houses and nursing homes

  • Visitors can meet residents indoors, but the visit must always be agreed upon in advance.
  • Each resident can have one visitor a day and the visit can take up to maximum of one hour. One person is allowed to visit at a time. 
  • Before the meeting, visitors are met by nurses, who will provide them with instructions on the proper protection
  • All visitors are provided with face masks, which they must wear for the entire duration of the visit.
  • Visitors must observe good hand hygiene
  • You may only come for a visit when you are well 
  • Care must also be taken to maintain a safe distance of over two meters. Hugging is not allowed, for example.
  • Outdoor visits are also possible

We recommend holding visits primarily outdoors, the weather and the resident's condition permitting.

  • Outdoor visits must also be agreed upon in advance
  • An outdoor visit may last up to on hour, and no more than two visitors may be present at a time.
  • You must use a face mask outside as well, and maintain a safety distance of over two meters.

Will service centres for pensioners and the unemployed be open?

Helsinki's service centres will be closed until the end of April 2021. The restaurants of the service centres are closed to non-residents.

Will day activities for the elderly be continued?

Day activities for the elderly will be suspended until April 2021. Day activity clients will be contacted in person about the closures.

Does one have to wear a mask at the workplace?

As of 23 November, face mask usage is recommended at all workplaces in all situations in which employees share the same space with others. The mask recommendation is valid for all people who are not working remotely, even if safe distances are maintained at the workplace. If you work alone in a space, you do not need a face mask.

Can I be tested for the coronavirus? 

Finland has now introduced larger-scale coronavirus testing for the public. 
See more information about Coronavirus testing in Helsinki

How can I protect myself from a covid-19 coronavirus infection?

People can avoid a covid-19 coronavirus infection in the same way they protect themselves from other respiratory tract infections. Good hand hygiene is of primary importance. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Do not cough or sneeze into the air or your hand, use a tissue or do it into your sleeve.

Each of us can help to stop the spread of covid-19 by avoiding close contact with people outside our homes. When you go out in public, maintain at least a two-metre distance from others.

  • Wear a mask if you use public transport or are in a situation where you can't avoid close contact
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not attend events with more than 6 participants
  • Work from home, if possible

Can I get the coronavirus from touching surfaces?  

Coronaviruses are primarily transmitted through close contact and respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. Normal cleaning agents can effectively kill the coronavirus on surfaces.

Can I get the coronavirus from someone who doesn't have symptoms?

It is possible for an infected person to infect others before they start to experience symptoms. It is unclear however how many of an effect this has had on the spread of the epidemic. The World Health Organisation reports that present data indicates that the majority of infections are caused by people who have symptoms.

How can the hearing-impaired access coronavirus services?

The hearing-impaired can contact services with the assistance of an interpreter. Find more information on Finland’s interpreter services on the website of the national benefits agency Kela.

Many health issues can also be resolved by using the City of Helsinki’s e-services to contact health care professionals.

A nationwide phone service providing information about the coronavirus via text message is also available at tel. 050 902 0163. This service is open every weekday from 8 am to 9 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm.

Which City of Helsinki employees are being tested for covid-19?

The City of Helsinki follows THL recommendations for testing, particularly in the case of workers who are critical to the operations of social services and healthcare (employees of hospitals, health care centres, senior homes, care services, assisted-living facilities and home care services). 

Covid-19 testing is also available to all City of Helsinki employees who show symptoms of a coronavirus infection or are suspected of having a coronavirus infection, in line with a diagnosis from an occupational health care professional.

Please contact the city's health care provider Occupational Health Helsinki for more information.  

Where can I find more information about the coronavirus? 

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) monitors the domestic and global coronavirus situation, and provides instructions for preventing coronavirus infections. Read more on the THL website.

Latest updates on the covid-19 coronavirus from THL

Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus from THL

Travelling

What should I do when arriving in Finland and Helsinki from abroad by ship?

Upon boarding the ship, you must present proof of a negative coronavirus test result (tested within 72 hours) or having contracted COVID-19 previously (within six months).

When arriving in the port of Helsinki, you must undergo a health check-up immediately after entering the country. The check will include a test for COVID-19. The health check-up is performed in the health information point at the port and it is mandatory. The check is also mandatory for Finnish citizens.

You do not have to be tested for COVID-19 if you are able to present proof of a negative coronavirus test result (tested within 72 hours) or having contracted COVID-19 previously (within six months). The test is also not mandatory for children born in or after 2008, or cruise passengers who have not disembarked in another country.

You will be provided with a contact information form during your trip. Fill in the form and take it to the health information point at the port. Filling in the form in advance will expedite your arrival in Finland. Your contact information form will be sent to the health care services of your municipality of permanent or temporary residence. The information provided can be used to refer you to a second test to shorten your quarantine. The information may also be used for infection tracking.

After arriving in Finland, you must enter a self-imposed 14-day quarantine. This also applies to children. You can shorten the quarantine period by being tested for COVID-19 for a second time. If you have contracted COVID-19 within the last six months, you do not need to remain in self-imposed quarantine.

Take the second test 72 hours after your arrival in the country, at the earliest. If you have had COVID-19 during the past six months, you do not need to get tested.

You can make an appointment for a coronavirus test in Finland

  • most conveniently through the Finentry service at finentry.fi (in the case of Finentry bookings with the relevant proof, filling in the contact information form is not required)
  • at a coronavirus information point in your municipality of permanent or temporary residence (Helsinki residents can call tel. 09 310 10024 every day 8:00–18:00)
  • through the omaolo.fi service (Helsinki residents with symptoms)

Coronavirus tests conducted by Finnish public health care services are free of charge. When awaiting the test results, please remain in self-imposed quarantine at home or your other accommodations. If the second test result is also negative, you can end your self-imposed quarantine.

Passengers important for security of supply do not necessarily have to have a certificate of being tested or having contracted COVID-19 previously upon boarding. They must also have a mandatory health check-up and COVID-19 testing in the port, if they do not have a certificate. Security of supply workers must have a certificate from the employer that describes their work tasks.

Transport and logistics personnel working in freight transport do not need to remain in quarantine or participate in the health check-up or COVID-19 testing when arriving in Finland for work duties. However, it is possible to get tested at the port. Instructions suitable for their specific work tasks have been prepared and distributed separately.


What should I do when arriving in Helsinki from abroad by plane?

International air passengers arriving at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport will be directed to take a free coronavirus test.
Read more on the Finavia website

Can I travel abroad or is travel restricted?

It is still recommended to avoid unnecessary travel to countries other than ones to which the restrictions on entry into the country do not apply. Before your travel, always check the up-to-date entry regulations from the authorities of the destination country (e.g. the country’s nearest diplomatic mission).
If you are returning from abroad, please adhere to quarantine instructions of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Travel restrictions and recommendations (Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland) 

Entry restrictions to be strengthened based on the coronavirus situation Entry restrictions and health measures in Finland

Can I go back to work if I have just returned from a trip abroad?

The National Institute for Health and Welfare THL recommends a 14-day self-imposed quarantine for those arriving in Finland from a country with a coronavirus incidence of more than 25 per 100,000 people measured over two weeks. You can shorten your self-imposed quarantine by getting tested for coronavirus twice.

You can estimate the need for self-imposed quarantine with THL’s traffic light system. The traffic lights also help to estimate the coronavirus infection risk of travelling abroad. The traffic lights are updated once a week.

You can check the country-specific situation and the traffic lights on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL 
Check out THL’s recommendation for passengers arriving in Finland

Persons returning from abroad must agree on the date of their return to work and a two-week period of absence together with their employer.

What about children who have been travelling, can they go to daycare again?

Everyone arriving in Finland from abroad should self-isolate at home for 14 days before resuming contact with others. You can shorten your self-imposed quarantine by getting tested for coronavirus twice.

Children can return to daycare if their parents' work is considered critical to society, but the children must absolutely be free of any symptoms. Contact with others should be avoided during self-imposed quarantine, so children should not visit playgrounds or parks during this time, even if they have returned to daycare.

If your child presents even minor symptoms indicative of a coronavirus infection, you should get the child tested.

Am I entitled to loss-of-income compensation due to a post-travel quarantine?

The Finnish government's recommendation to stay home for two weeks after foreign travel is not sufficient grounds for granting a sickness allowance, nor is an employer's recommendation or order to stay home from work.

According to the Communicable Diseases Act, the decision to put someone in quarantine can only be made by a physician specializing in infectious diseases from your municipality or hospital district, when the quarantine is seen to be of benefit in the situation.

In order to claim sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease from the state benefit agency Kela, you need a statement from the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in your municipality or hospital district ordering you to stay off work. Sickness leave also cannot be granted to a person without symptoms.

Can the voluntary quarantine be shortened?

We recommend a self-imposed 14-day quarantine to all people arriving in Finland.

You can shorten a self-imposed 14 day quarantine by taking two voluntary tests. If both tests are negative you can end the voluntary quarantine.

If you have a negative coronavirus test certificate that is no more than 72 hours old at the time of your arrival in Finland, do not take another coronavirus test until at least 72 hours after your arrival. If the first test is done in Finland, take the second test at the earliest 72 hours after the first one.

You will not need to self-quarantine if you have a medical certificate stating that you had COVID-19 less than 6 months ago.

If the person has a negative coronavirus test certificate that is less than 72 hours old at the time of arrival in Finland and will stay in the country for less than 72 hours, a second test and voluntary quarantine are not required.

I’m travelling abroad, can I get a certificate to prove I have a negative coronavirus test result?

The public sector only tests people with symptoms. You should not travel abroad if you have symptoms.

Daycare  FAQ

Day care centres and pre-primary education for six years olds are open normally, with staff making adjustments to maintain social distancing and good hygiene.

Do I need to wear a face mask at my child's daycare? 

Yes, according to the latest recommendations. Everyone is asked to wear a mask when droping off and picking up children at Helsinki's daycare centres and pre-primary education. Guardians and visitors should also avoid staying inside daycare spaces unless necessary.

Why is it recommended that daycare centre staff members wear a mask?

Anybody can have an asymptomatic coronavirus infection. A facemask reduces the risk of infecting other people around us. As anybody can spread the virus without having any symptoms, it is important that everybody wears a mask especially in situations where a safe distance of two metres cannot be kept. 

How are daycare centre staff members instructed on how and when to wear a mask?

Daycare and pre-primary education staff  are asked to wear a mask indoors. In outdoors spaces a mask is recommended if  a safe distance of two metres cannot be maintained. Employees might not always be able to wear a mask; for example if they have a health-related reason not to.

Who will take care of my children or parents if I become ill with coronavirus?

Helsinki has many social service professionals available to help people in these kinds of situations. Please do not hesitate to call tel. 09 3101 5454 on weekdays from 9 am to 12 pm with even the most minor questions or concerns. Social workers will help you find help, so you can get some rest and recover. Another way to get help is to click on the ‘Need Help?’ icon at the City of Helsinki Family Support website.

If you need  help finding the appropriate service or support, or need assistance filling out applications, use the city’s social worker chat service or call tel. 09 310 44400 between 9 am and 4 pm every weekday. 

How will I be informed if my child has been exposed at daycare?

Upon receiving confirmation of an infection from the Epidemiologic Operations Unit, the day care centre director will send a first notification as soon as possible to those guardians whose children are affected by the possible exposure. The first notification will have information about which classes or day care groups might have been exposed if the group is larger than 10 people.

Once all those exposed have been determined, a targeted notification or text message link to an online form will be sent to the exposed persons or their guardians. The guardians can send the information required for tracing via an online form. The form also provides them with quarantine instructions. The possible quarantine decision is sent by encrypted e-mail or per mail to the home address.

Exposed children may be placed in quarantine based on the information provided in the online form. The quarantine decision will be sent at a later time by data-secure e-mail or post.

Once the exposed persons have been found and the text messages are on the way, the day care centre director will send a follow-up notification to the guardians, indicating that all those exposed have been contacted separately.

If you receive a text message and a link to an online form, fill in the form immediately. This will expedite the tracing process.

In March 2021, Helsinki deployed first notifications to be able to inform guardians about possible exposures at day care centres, schools and educational institutions as quickly as possible. The first notification will replace the so-called general notification used earlier, which was sent out only after tracing.

School arrangements FAQ

How is distance learning and contact teaching organised?

The rotation model in lower secondary schools (grades 7–9) starts on 12 April. In this turn-taking system between distance learning and contact teaching, the instruction of the grades 7–10 will be arranged in three-week periods. Each grade will study one week in distance learning, followed by two weeks in contact teaching. Schools will send you more information about the teaching arrangements via Wilma. If the coronavirus infections start to decrease significantly, the rotation model can be abandoned. It is very important that we all follow the coronavirus restrictions during our free time. Pupils in grade six and up and the school staff must wear a mask at school, unless a person’s health gives them reason not to. Please remember that you are allowed to come to school only when healthy.

Student lunch arrangements during the rotation model will be announced later.

Education phone guidance can help you in all questions related to education and learning. For service in Finnish and English for pupils living in Helsinki, call on 09 310 10025 Mon-Thu 9–17.

What if a pupil is found to have been exposed?

An exposed pupil will be quarantined for 14 days. During the spring term, the education of a pupil in quarantine can be organised with special arrangements, e.g. distance education.

The exposed will receive later a targeted notice or a text message with instructions.

Can a pupil in quarantine eat in school? 

No. A pupil in quarantine cannot come to the school for a meal or to pick up food. For quarantined pupils a separate meal is arranged. The meals can be picked up by a guardian or another close person once a week with the pupil’s name. Follow the instructions in Wilma.

How will I be informed if my child has been exposed at school or in an educational institute?

Upon receiving confirmation of an infection from the Epidemiologic Operations Unit, the principcal will send a first notification as soon as possible to students and those guardians whose children are affected by the possible exposure. The first notification will have information about which classes or day care groups might have been exposed if the group is larger than 10 people.

Once all those exposed have been determined, a targeted notification or text message link to an online form will be sent to the exposed persons or their guardians. The guardians or students can send the information required for tracing via an online form. The form also provides them with quarantine instructions.

Exposed children or students may be placed in quarantine based on the information provided in the online form. The quarantine decision will be sent at a later time by data-secure e-mail or post.

Once the exposed persons have been found and the text messages are on the way, the principal will send a follow-up notification to the guardians or students, indicating that all those exposed have been contacted separately.

If you receive a text message and a link to an online form, fill in the form immediately. This will expedite the tracing process.

In March 2021, Helsinki deployed first notifications to be able to inform guardians about possible exposures at day care centres, schools and educational institutions as quickly as possible. The first notification will replace the so-called general notification used earlier, which was sent out only after tracing.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine means limiting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Some infectious diseases can transmit before the actual symptoms appear. Quarantine prevents infections from a potential asymptomatic carrier to other people.
Instructions for people in quarantine

Isolation means separating a person with an infectious disease from healthy people. The isolation can be organised at home or in a hospital. The aim is to prevent possible further infections.
Instructions for people in isolation

See also Quarantine and isolation information from the THL website

Support for businesses

Does the City of Helsinki help struggling businesses? 

The City of Helsinki's business advisory service NewCo Helsinki offers remote business counselling during the coronavirus crisis. The service is free of charge and open to everyone. If you wish to book a 45-minute session, call 09 310 36360 between 11 am and 1 pm on weekdays. 

New Co Helsinki has also compiled a list of  helpful links and information about other groups and organisations that are providing advice and assistance to struggling businesses on its website.

Links to more information

Current recommendations and restrictions in Helsinki

The City of Helsinki publishes regular Coronavirus updates in English on its website.

The City of Helsinki's Helsinki-info phone service is also available on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm (3 pm on Fridays) at tel. 09 310 11111 or via a chat service to answer any questions you might have.

InfoFinland is also a comprehensive source of helpful information in 12 languages on Finland. The InfoFinland website has compiled a handy list of links to important coronavirus information from several public authorities. 

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) monitors the domestic and global coronavirus situation, and provides instructions for preventing coronavirus infections. Read more on the THL website.

Latest updates on the covid-19 coronavirus from THL

Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus from THL



09.04.2021 08:57