The easiest way to fight respiratory infections, like seasonal influenza and even the novel coronavirus, is to maintain good hand hygiene.

Information about the coronavirus

An epidemic has been identified in Wuhan, China, and a new coronavirus has been identified as the cause. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. For many patients, the symptoms have been mild, but there have also been serious cases.

The updated information of infection cases and the epidemic areas can be found on The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) web pages (www.thl.fi/en/web/thlfi-en).

If you suspect you have contracted the coronavirus, please follow these instructions

Finland currently has a high level of seasonal influenza, with symptoms very similar to those of the coronavirus. An essential distinguishing factor is the exposure to coronavirus.

If you have spent time in a region with a coronavirus epidemic and you notice symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (such as fever, cough or shortness of breath) within 14 days of leaving the region, please call the Coronavirus telephone helpline for Helsinki residents, tel 09 310 10024. The service is open Monday to Friday 7 - 20. In the evenings after 20 and on the weekends, please call the Medical helpline, tel. 116 117. Please, call the number also if you are concerned about the exposure of yourself or your family member.

Can you return to work, daycare or school after a trip to the epidemic area?

As a general rule, if you do not have fever or other symptoms of respiratory infection (such as cough or shortness of breath) after returning from an epidemic area, you may return to work, daycare or school.

Latest information about the epidemic areas

If you notice symptoms within 14 days of leaving the epidemic area, please contact the healthcare services immediately, preferably by phone.

Is travel restricted?

Currently, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland recommends that people avoid all travel to Hubei province and all unnecessary travel to elsewhere in China. Special caution is advised when travelling to South Korea, Iran or Italy.

You can find the current travel advice on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.   

More questions and answers about coronavirus

The best way to fight infection is to wash your hands

The easiest way to fight respiratory infections, like seasonal influenza and even the novel coro-navirus, is to maintain good hand and cough hygiene.

Cough correctly – do not infect others!

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Put the used tissue immediately into the bin.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

The situation is being actively monitored

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is monitoring the situation and provides guidance on infection prevention as needed (www.thl.fi/en/web/thlfi-en).

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Published 31.1. and updated 4, 14, 21, 28 February and 2, 3, 5 March. Update 11 March: in the second chapter names of countries have been deleted.

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