Instructions for people in quarantine
What does it mean to be placed under quarantine?
In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, people suspected of having been exposed to the coronavirus may be put into quarantine. Quarantine means that a healthy person’s freedom of movement is restricted. Quarantining is used to prevent a possibly symptomless carrier from infecting other people. The quarantine decision is based on the Communicable Diseases Act.
The duration of the quarantine period will be specified when you are quarantined. The typical quarantine period is 10 days from the last exposure. The quarantine period is two weeks in cases where more than one people live in the same household. The period starts at the beginning of symptoms or, in the case of a symptomless person, from the sampling date.
What does quarantining mean in practice?
When quarantined, you must avoid close contact with people outside your household. You must spend the quarantine period in your home. You may go outside, if you do not approach other people. You may not go to your place of work, school, daycare, hobbies, the shop or pharmacy, because close contact is very difficult to avoid in these places. You may not see any visitors and you must have groceries delivered to you at home.
Your close friends and relatives who have not been in direct close contact with the infected person may lead normal lives. This means that your close friends and relatives are not quarantined, unlike the person who has been quarantined. People associated to a quarantined symptomless person do not infect others with coronavirus.
If no one is able to get food or medicine for you, you can contact the Social Services’ Coronavirus Helpline at 09 310 21175.
Symptoms of a coronavirus infection
The time between the infection and the first symptoms is 1–14 days, most typically 5–6 days. Symptoms typical of the coronavirus disease include fever, cough, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle pain, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, shortness of breath and loss of smell and taste.
How can I make an appointment for coronavirus testing?
If you or your child experience the above symptoms during quarantine even in mild form, please seek out coronavirus testing immediately. You can book a time for coronavirus testing for yourself and your child by filling in the coronavirus symptom assessment form at omaolo.fi or by calling the coronavirus advisory service at 09 310 10024 (open every day at 8–18). In urgent cases, please call the Medical Helpline at 116 117.
In the event of an emergency, please call 112.
Can quarantines be carried out at home?
Most people who have been told to quarantine can do so in the safety and comfort of their homes. However, if there are other people with underlying health issues or people over 60 years old living in the same household, some other arrangement may have to be made.
How will children under quarantine attend school?
Schools will arrange the appropriate instruction, should a child be put under quarantine.
Compensation for loss of income
Loss of income caused by the quarantine order will be reimbursed to you as sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease. You can apply for it at the Social Insurance Institution (Kela). You will receive a quarantine decision written by the infectious disease physician of the City of Helsinki, which must be attached to your application. The quarantine decision will be sent to you automatically by registered mail or encrypted e-mail. You must submit the application to Kela within two months from the quarantine order.
The infectious disease allowance is a full compensation for loss of income caused by absence from work due to a quarantine. The daily allowance of employees is determined based on the salary they would have received at work. An entrepreneur’s allowance is based on the valid annual earned income on which their YEL or MYEL insurance contributions are based. The guardian of a child under 16 years of age is entitled to an infectious disease allowance, if the child has been ordered into quarantine and the guardian is therefore unable to work.
Further information is available at www.kela.fi/web/en/sickness-allowances-infectious-disease.
The quarantine is mandatory
You must comply with the quarantine order issued by a communicable disease authority. According to Finnish law, breaching a quarantine order can be punished as an offence against health protection with a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of three months, even if you do not infect anyone else.
Further instructions for those in quarantine can be found at www.hel.fi/coronavirus.
Instructions with images: Exposure to coronavirus and quarantine (pdf)
Coronavirus updates from Helsinki
Coronavirus information in different languages