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 measures aim to break the chains of infection and save lives.
According to Finland's Act of Contagious Diseases (1227/2016), municipal or hospital district physicians specialising in infectious diseases can quarantine a person if they have become infected or are suspected of having been exposed to a highly contagious disease.
Information on the duration of your quarantine is provided to you in connection with the quarantine order. 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.
How to act in quarantine?
During quarantine, you must avoid close contact with people outside your household. Quarantine time must be spent in your apartment. You can go out, provided that you do not get close to other people. For example, you must not go to work, school, daycare, hobbies, stores or pharmacies, as the avoidance of close contacts is difficult in these places. You must not have visitors, and you must order your food.
People associated to you who have not been personally in direct close contact with the infected person can continue to live normally. This means that associated people are not in quarantine, unlike the quarantined person. 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’ helpline at 09 310 44400.
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 do I book a time for coronavirus testing?
If you experience the above symptoms during quarantine even in mild form, please seek out coronavirus testing immediately. You can book a time for coronavirus testing 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.
For children under the age of 16, you can book a coronavirus test through the coronavirus advisory helpline or by submitting an appointment request using the chatbot of your health station (www.hel.fi/terveysemat, appointment requests are answered every day at 8–18).
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.
Can a quarantined person go out?
The priniciple of being in quarantine means that the individual in question should try to avoid close contact with anyone outside their family. If they must go out, they should take care to avoid all contact with others. Quarantined persons may not go to their workplace, schools, day care centres or to the shops.
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
Income loss caused by the quarantine order will be compensated for in the form of an infectious disease allowance. 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. The daily allowance of entrepreneurs is determined by the annual income under the self-employed persons’ (YEL) and farmers’ (MYEL) pension insurance schemes valid at the beginning of the absence from work. 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 https://www.kela.fi/web/en/sickness-allowances-infectious-disease.
Quarantine must be adhered to
A quarantine ordered by the infectious disease authorities must be strictly adhered to. 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.
Coronavirus updates from Helsinki
Coronavirus information in different languages