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Coronavirus FAQ

About the covid-19 coronavirusDo 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.

  • Use good hand hygiene and coughing etiquette. Do not shake hands.
    >Transmission and protection/THL
  • Wear a mask if you use public transport or are in a situation where you can't avoid close contact (those who cannot wear a face mask for a medical reason are exempt from the rule).
    > Key recommendations and restrictions in Helsinki
    Face mask distribution points and use
  • When at work, please wear a face mask in all situations in which you share the same space with other persons. 
  • Do not attend events with more than 10 participants
  • Work from home, if possible

How long will the new restrictions published on 27.11.2020 be valid and when will they enter into force?

The restrictions will be in force for a fixed period from 30.11.2020 until 20.12.2020. A part of them can of course be implemented immediately. At the secondary education institutions, however, distance learning will only be introduced at the start of the new assessment period on 3.12.2020, and it will continue until 31.12.2020.

Does this mean that absolutely all of the city’s service points will be closed, including libraries?

Regarding the service facilities of the cities, this means that all of them will be closed for a fixed period.All indoor sports facilities, cultural centres, museums and youth centres of the cities will be closed. The operations of adult education centres will be suspended. Also Korkeasaari Zoo will close its doors.Different facilities for indispensable services such as mask distribution points for low-income people constitute exceptions to this. Limited services will be available at the libraries. The social and health care services will also remain mainly available. Daycare centres and comprehensive schools will not be closed.

How about the private sector, will it be affected in any way?

We recommend that private operators adhere to the same restrictions.

What is meant with public event? What counts as one?

A public event refers to amusements, contests, performances and other comparable events that are open to the public but not considered to be public meetings. These also include events bound to invitation or membership, unless the event can be considered private based on the number of participants, the quality of the event or other specific reasons. More information: Regional State Administrative Agency.

Which public events are affected by the pause?

The decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency concerns public events, such as concerts, theatre performances and sports matches open to the public.

Can private events be arranged?

It is not recommended to arrange private meetings or family gatherings. Close contacts should be limited to the household or to relationships of a comparable permanence. Funerals and memorials should be attended by a very limited group of close relatives. The recommendation will be in force 30.11.–20.12.2020.

Will all recreational activities be suspended at the city’s facilities?

No indoor recreational activities whatsoever may be arranged in the next three weeks. Basic education will be suspended in both sports and arts.The adult education centre will also close its doors. Regarding people above 20 years of age, all outdoor recreational activities will also be suspended, and all outdoor field time slots for recreational activities of people above 20 years will be cancelled.
Outdoor recreational activities of young people under 20 years of age may, however, be continued based on earlier reservations, but new time slots will not be granted to them or anyone else.Young people will not be forgotten in other respects either, although the youth facilities will be closed. They will be supported and met online and through mobile youth work.   
Remote programme will be produced as far as possible.

How will children’s recreational opportunities be secured?

Children’s outdoor recreational opportunities will be secured.
Outdoor recreational activities of young people under 20 years of age may be continued based on earlier reservations, but new time slots will not be granted to them or anyone else.Young people will not be forgotten in other respects either, although the youth facilities will be closed. They will be supported and met online and through mobile youth work.

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, 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.

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 followed for a couple of days at home. A child with symptoms may not attend early childhood education. If the symptoms continue it’s recommended to find out if they are caused by the coronavirus.

Please note: A coronavirus test is always necessary if a schoolchild or young person has coronavirus symptoms.

Coronavirustesting in Helsinki

Instructions for guardians of children in daycare and school (pdf)

THL: Children and 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. The symptoms can be eased with painkillers.

Laakso corona health station

Malmi corona health station

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

Because Helsinki is in the spreading phase of the coronavirus we are forced to restrict the visits. Relatives and loved ones may not visit hospitals on 4.–20.12. Patients may not be met outdoors, either. You can be in contact with your relative or friend by phone. It is still possible to visit patients who are in terminal care or have serious illnesses. The visits must be agreed on with the personnel.

Residents of senior centres and service centres may be visited by their relatives and loved ones once a day. We recommend that the visits are kept short. About 15 minutes is a good length for a visit. One person is allowed to visit at a time. Outdoor visits remain possible. Outdoor visits can last for 30 minutes, and the maximum number of visitors at a time is two.

All visits must be agreed on in advance with the care facility of the relative, and face masks must be used during the visits. You only may pay a visit when you are well. Safe distances and good hand hygiene must be ensured.

Will the service centres for pensioners and the unemployed be held open?

The service centres will be kept closed until the end of February 2021. The restaurants of the service centres are closed to external customers. Residents of senior centres and service centres may still eat at them.

Will day activities for the elderly be continued?

Day activities for the elderly will be suspended for a fixed period on 7.12.–10.1.2021. The day activity clients will be contacted in person.

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 the employee shares the same space with other persons. The mask recommendation is valid for all non-remote work even if safe distances are kept. 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. 

Helsinki has more than a dozen testing points, including 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 10 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 do health authorities recommend that I wear a mask? 

Starting 2 November, all persons over the age of 15 are required to wear a face mask in indoor sports facilities, including indoor skating rinks. The extended mask recommendation also applies to public transport, social and health care facilities and all public areas in which it is difficult to avoid close contact with others. 

THL: Recommendation on the use of face masks for citizens

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 restrictions and travel recommendations, and continues to ask that all residents of the country avoid non-essential travel abroad. 

See the Ministry 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 10 days before resuming contact with others.

THL: Recommendations for passengers arriving in Finland

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 10 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 10 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 ten 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?

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 recommendations. Everyone is asked to wear a mask when droping off and picking up children at Helsinki's daycare centres. Guardians and visitors should also avoid staying inside daycare spaces unless necessary.

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. 

Why did the personnel of daycare centres receive a face mask usage recommendation on 23 November?

Face mask usage ensures the sufficiency of personnel, as the masks help to reduce the number of employees quarantined due to exposure. This is a recommendation, and employees are free to decide on face mask usage.

School arrangements FAQ

Which levels of education will move to distance learning?

Secondary education institutions, i.e. upper comprehensive schools and vocational education. The intention is to keep comprehensive schools and early childhood education open as long as possible with maximum possible consideration for health safety.The shift to distance learning will be implemented at the beginning of the new assessment period on 3.12.2020, and distance learning will be continued until 31.12.2020.

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. 

Any changes related to teaching arrangements are announced via the Wilma platform, so please check your Wilma messages regularly.

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

No one can come to school with symptoms of a potential coronavirus infection. Typical covid-19 symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle pain, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, shortness of breath, and loss of the sense of smell or taste. If you have any of these symptoms, you must get tested and wait for the test results at home.

How is teaching arranged?

There will be contact teaching in upper secondary schools, but with one-week periods of remote teaching for each grade in turn. In vocational education, one third of the pupils will have contact teaching in periods of one week.

Support and services for businesses in Helsinki for more information.

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.

Other topics

How many infections are there among minority language groups?

Currently, one third of all new infections occur in persons whose mother tongue is other than Finnish or Swedish. The proportion of Helsinki residents whose mother tongue is not Finnish or Swedish is 16–17 per cent.

The abovementioned third includes native speakers of 61 different languages. The proportionally most effected minorities, i.e. speakers of Somali, Russian, Arabian, English and Kurdish make up ca. 19 per cent of all infected people.

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



14.12.2020 09:40