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Coronavirus FAQ

About the covid-19 coronavirus

Do you suspect a coronavirus infection? Seek out testing.

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 a 1-2 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 50 participants
  • Work from home, if possible

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.

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, 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

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.

Covid-19 tests are available at testing points in the Helsinki districts of Itäkeskus (Tallinnanaukio 1B), Kännelmäki (Kitarakuja 4, near Kanneltalo, entrance at the Sitratori plaza), and Kruunuhaka (Vironkatu 2), as well as at drive-through locations in Malmi and Meilahti. The test will determine if you have a coronavirus infection. Antibody tests, which would detect if you had contracted the virus earlier, are not available at City of Helsinki testing points.

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 Coronavirus Helpline or the Medical Helpline (numbers above). 

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. The symptoms can be eased with painkillers.

Laakso corona health station

Malmi corona health station

Can I visit a friend or relative at hospitals or senior homes?

It is again possible to visit City of Helsinki hospital patients and customers of senior homes and assisted-living faciltiies indoors, provided that visitors take the required precautions. No one may visit these places while ill. Please inform the staff of the facility you plan to visit before your arrival, and they will give you instructions. In most cases, it is better to meet with patients outdoors, if possible.

Can I be tested for the coronavirus? 

Finland has now introduced larger-scale testing for the public. Consult the list of updated coronavirus testing criteria from the metropolitan area hospital network HUS for more information. 

The City of Helsinki's coronavirus testing points can be found in the districts of Itäkeskus (Tallinnanaukio 1B), Kannelmäki (Kitarakuja 4, next to Kanneltalo, entrance via Sitratori), and Kruununhaka (Vironkatu 2), as well as at drive-through testing points in Malmi and Meilahti. The test determines if you have a coronavirus infection. Antibody tests that identify previous coronavirus infections are not available at Helsinki's testing points.  

If you have been to a covid-19 test, please read these instructions for what to do after a coronavirus test.

Is there a vaccine against coronavirus?

There is no vaccine against the covid-19 coronavirus at present.

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 cough 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 a 1-2 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 50 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


Travel restrictions and quarantine measures

Avoid non-essential travel abroad

The Finnish government has issued new border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations, and continues to ask that all residents of the country avoid non-essential travel abroad. 

See the Minstry of Foreign Affairs website for a list of the countries that are still subject to border control. If you are returning to Finland from one of these countries, you should self-isolate in quarantine-like conditions for 14 days before resuming contact with others.

Travel within the country is allowed, although people are encouraged to follow the safety guidelines

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

All people arriving in the country are required to self-isolate in quarantine-like conditions for a period of 14 days.

Passengers in Helsinki who experience symptoms of a respiratory infection after arrival should ring the Coronavirus Helpline at tel. 09 310 10024, which is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm. At other times, call the nationwide Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117.

Employees should make the necessary arrangements with their employers. 

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.

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 isolation, so children should not visit playgrounds or parks during this time, even if they have returned to daycare.

If children develop symptoms within fourteen days of their return from a trip abroad, they must stay at home and self-isolate, and the family should consult the online Omaolo health service or seek out a coronavirus test.

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.

What does it mean to be under quarantine?

Quarantine and isolation information from the THL website

Exposure to coronavirus and quarantine (visual instructions)

Coronavirus infection and isolation (visual instructions)

Daycare  FAQ

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

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. 


School arrangements FAQ

How about the 2020-2021 school year?

Helsinki's comprehensive and vocational schools have started the autumn term in normal face-to-face classroom instruction. The Helsinki City Board made a decision in August allowing for hybrid instruction, a combination of face-to-face classroom instruction and distance learning, to be introduced later for older students for a short period, if the situation requires.

All municipal schools and daycares observe THL guidelines for protecting the children from coronavirus transmission.

Support for entrepreneurs 

Is aid available for the self-employed? 

Finland's municipalities are taking applications for government grants designed to help sole proprietors and freelancers who need financial assistance in the wake of the covid-19 outbreak. Applications for the grants and the processing of the applications take place via the city's e-service portal.

Find instructions for applying for the 2,000-euro grants at the website of the City of Helsinki's business advisory service NewCo Helsinki.

Does the City of Helsinki provide advice to 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

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



07.09.2020 10:18