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Coronavirus FAQ

About the covid-19 coronavirus

The Koronavilkku app has alerted me – what do I do?

If the Koronavilkku app on your phone sends you an alert, it means you have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus. The app will provide you with instructions about what to do.
Please book a test when you receive an alert of potential exposure on Koronavilkku.
You will not be placed into quarantine based on the app’s alert. The Epidemiologic Operations Unit will contact you if the infection chain tracing determines you have been in close contact with an infected person.

Do you suspect a coronavirus infection? Seek out testing.

Coronavirus vaccinations 

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about coronavirus vaccinations here: Frequently asked questions

How will the vaccinations affect safety measures such as handwashing and mask use?

It is still important that everyone follow the recommended safety measures after vaccinations begin.

From where do I get a certificate of a negative coronavirus test?

If you require proof of a negative test result, you can find this at mycoviddata.fi.


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 at least a two-metre distance from others.

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,  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 monitored for a couple of days at home. A child with symptoms may not attend early childhood education. If the symptoms continue, have the child tested for covid-19.

Please note: A coronavirus test is always necessary if a schoolchild or young person has coronavirus symptoms.
As a guardian, you can also act on behalf of a child under the age of 15 and book an appointment through the symptom assessment on Omaolo. You can also make an appointment by calling the Coronavirus Helpline  at tel. 09 310 10024 every day of the week 8–18.

Coronavirus testing in Helsinki
 
THL: Children and the 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. Symptoms can be eased with painkillers.
Laakso corona health station
Malmi corona health station

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

Helsinki has entered a coronavirus spreading phase and the city's social and healthcare services have been forced to restrict patient and customer visits at many facilities. The restrictions are necessary to protect patients, residents and personnel from covid-19 infections. Read more: Visiting senior centres, service houses and Helsinki hospitals from 19.4.2021

Will service centres for pensioners and the unemployed be open?

Supported group activities are opened at the Service centres from 1 June for clients who are in need of special support.

The participants will be invited to the groups separately. All other activities at the Service centres, e.g. gyms and resuarants, will remain closed.

Will day activities for the elderly be continued?

Day activities for elderly are opened gradually from 1 June for clients who are in need of special support.

The participants will be invited to the groups separately.

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 employees share the same space with others. The mask recommendation is valid for all people who are not working remotely, even if safe distances are maintained at the workplace. 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. 

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 do it 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 at least a two-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 6 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

Travelling

What should I do when arriving in Finland and Helsinki from abroad by ship?

Upon boarding the ship, you must present proof of having received one or two COVID-19 vaccinations (at least 2 weeks after the last vaccination), a negative coronavirus test result (tested within 72 hours), having contracted COVID-19 previously (within the last six months) or a medical certificate and certificate of receiving one vaccination (when two are needed).

When arriving in the port of Helsinki, you must undergo a health check-up immediately after entering the country. The check will include a test for COVID-19. The health check-up is performed in the health information point at the port and it is mandatory. The check is also mandatory for Finnish citizens.

You do not have to be tested for COVID-19 if you are able to present proof of having received one or two COVID-19 vaccinations (at least 2 weeks after the last vaccination), a negative coronavirus test result (tested within 72 hours), having contracted COVID-19 previously (within the previous six months) or a medical certificate and certificate of receiving one vaccination (when two are needed). The test is also not mandatory for children born in or after 2005, or cruise passengers who have not disembarked in another country. However, children born in 2005-2007 shall participate in the health check-up.

If you have only received the first vaccination from a two-dose vaccination series or you have a negative test result (less than 72 hours after the test), you must remain in voluntary quarantine for 14 days when you come to Finland. This also applies to children. You can shorten the quarantine period by being tested in Finland. Take the second test 72 hours after your arrival in the country, at the earliest.

You do not need to remain in voluntary quarantine if you have received all the necessary vaccinations (at least 2 weeks from the last vaccination), have been infected with COVID-19 within the last six months, or have been infected with COVID-19 and received one of two vaccine doses (at least a week ago). A list of the approved vaccines is provided on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare at www.thl.fi by accessing the path Topics/ Infectious diseases and vaccinations/ What’s new/ Coronavirus COVID-19 latest updates/ Travel and the coronavirus pandemic.

You will be provided with a contact information form during your trip. Fill in the form and take it to the health information point at the port. Filling in the form in advance will expedite your arrival in Finland. Your contact information form will be sent to the health care services of your municipality of permanent or temporary residence. The information provided can be used to refer you to a second test to shorten your quarantine. The information may also be used for infection tracking.

You can make an appointment for a coronavirus test in Finland

  • most conveniently through the Finentry service at finentry.fi (in the case of Finentry bookings with the relevant proof, filling in the contact information form is not required)
  • at a coronavirus information point in your municipality of permanent or temporary residence (Helsinki residents can call tel. 09 310 10024 every day 8:00–18:00)
  • through the omaolo.fi service (Helsinki residents with symptoms)

Coronavirus tests conducted by Finnish public health care services are free of charge. When awaiting the test results, please remain in self-imposed quarantine at home or your other accommodations. If the test result is negative, you can end your self-imposed quarantine.

Passengers important for security of supply do not necessarily have to have a certificate of being tested or having contracted COVID-19 previously upon boarding. They must also have a mandatory health check-up and COVID-19 testing in the port, if they do not have a certificate. Security of supply workers must have a certificate from the employer that describes their work tasks.

Transport and logistics personnel working in freight transport do not need to remain in quarantine or participate in the health check-up or COVID-19 testing when arriving in Finland for work duties (not applicable to situations where they are travelling to or from work). People on duty need to present a bill of consignment or sale. However, it is possible to get tested at the port. Instructions suitable for specific work tasks have been prepared and distributed separately.


What should I do when arriving in Helsinki from abroad by plane?

Read more on the Finavia website

Can I travel abroad or is travel restricted?

It is still recommended to avoid unnecessary travel to countries other than ones to which the restrictions on entry into the country do not apply. Before your travel, always check the up-to-date entry regulations from the authorities of the destination country (e.g. the country’s nearest diplomatic mission).

If you are returning from abroad, please adhere to quarantine instructions of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Travel restrictions and recommendations (Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland) 

Entry restrictions and health measures in Finland

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

You can estimate the need for self-imposed quarantine with THL’s traffic light system. The traffic lights also help to estimate the coronavirus infection risk of travelling abroad. The traffic lights are updated once a week.

You can check the country-specific situation and the traffic lights on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL 
Check out THL’s recommendation for passengers arriving in Finland

What about children who have been travelling, can they go to daycare again?

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

If your child presents even minor symptoms indicative of a coronavirus infection, you should get the child tested.

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.

Can the voluntary quarantine be shortened?

You can shorten a self-imposed quarantine by taking a test. When awaiting the test results, please remain in self-imposed quarantine at home or your other accommodations. If the test result is negative you can end the self-imposed quarantine.

If you have only received the first vaccination from a two-dose vaccination series or you have a negative test result (less than 72 hours after the test), you must remain in voluntary quarantine for 14 days when you come to Finland. This also applies to children. You can shorten the quarantine period by being tested in Finland. Take the second test 72 hours after your arrival in the country, at the earliest.

I’m travelling abroad, can I get a certificate to prove I have a negative coronavirus test result?

You can download a certificate for a negative test result e.g. for a trip at mycoviddata.fi. It is not possible to get a certificate for a positive test result from the page.

The public sector only tests people with symptoms. You should not travel abroad if you have symptoms.

How can I get a certificate that states that I have recovered from COVID-19 e.g. for a trip?

Everyone who is diagnosed with corona will receive by post a certificate of a positive test result and a notice that they must isolate. A person will receive this decision when they are diagnosed. It is not possible to get a certificate of a positive test result afterwards. It’s only possible to receive a certificate of a coronavirus infection afterwards if it’s essential for benefits, work or studies. You can get the certificate by sending a message to the health stations at Maisa or from the epidemiologic operations.

 Contact information 

The decisions and certificates are possible to receive in English, Finnish and Swedish.

Public health care will not provide a certificate stating that you have recovered from a coronavirus infection. Private companies also provide coronavirus certificates for a fee e.g. for trips abroad.


Daycare  FAQ

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

Why is it recommended that daycare centre staff members wear a mask?

Anybody can have an asymptomatic coronavirus infection. A facemask reduces the risk of infecting other people around us. As anybody can spread the virus without having any symptoms, it is important that everybody wears a mask especially in situations where a safe distance of two metres cannot be kept. 

How are daycare centre staff members instructed on how and when to wear a mask?

Daycare and pre-primary education staff  are asked to wear a mask indoors. In outdoors spaces a mask is recommended if  a safe distance of two metres cannot be maintained. Employees might not always be able to wear a mask; for example if they have a health-related reason not to.

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. 

How will I be informed if my child has been exposed at daycare?

Upon receiving confirmation of an infection from the Epidemiologic Operations Unit, the daycare centre director will send a first notification as soon as possible to those guardians whose children are affected by the possible exposure. The first notification will have information about which classes or daycare groups might have been exposed if the group is larger than 10 people.

Once all those exposed have been determined, a targeted notification or text message link to an online form will be sent to the exposed persons or their guardians. The guardians can send the information required for tracing via an online form. The form also provides them with quarantine instructions. The possible quarantine decision is sent by encrypted e-mail or per mail to the home address.

Exposed children may be placed in quarantine based on the information provided in the online form. The quarantine decision will be sent at a later time by data-secure e-mail or post.

Once the exposed persons have been found and the text messages are on the way, the daycare centre director will send a follow-up notification to the guardians, indicating that all those exposed have been contacted separately.

If you receive a text message and a link to an online form, fill in the form immediately. This will expedite the tracing process.

In March 2021, Helsinki deployed first notifications to be able to inform guardians about possible exposures at daycare centres, schools and educational institutions as quickly as possible. The first notification will replace the so-called general notification used earlier, which was sent out only after tracing.

School arrangements FAQ

How is distance learning and contact teaching organised?

In Helsinki, lower secondary school pupils returned on Monday 3 May back to face-to-face classroom instruction at their own schools. General upper secondary school pupils and vocational education and training students have also returned to face-to-face classroom instruction on 3 May 2021. The last day of distance learning and the alternation model was Friday 30 April 2021.

In the face-to-face classroom instruction at schools and educational institutes, emphasis is still put on social distancing, hygiene instructions as well as the directives by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Sixth graders and older, and the personnel at schools and educational institutes wear facemasks.

Do not go to school if you feel sick

A pupil or a student must stay at home, if they feel any symptoms of illness. Coronavirus instructions, mask and safety recommendations, as well as social distancing must still be observed. Get tested for the coronavirus if you experience even mild symptoms. Helsinki's coronavirus helpline offers advice by phone in Finnish, Swedish and English on workdays 8–18 at +358 9 310 10024 and in Somali and Arabic on Mon-Fri 9–12 at +358 9 310 10011. Read more about coronavirus testing: https://www.hel.fi/helsinki/coronavirus-en/social-and-health/coronavirus-test

Dining

The learners dine with their own groups, either in their own classroom or in the dining room with social distancing. Good hygiene is observed in the preparation and distribution of the food and during the dining. Dining situations and hand-washing are supervised. Helsinki will no longer distribute food bags, as general upper secondary school pupils and vocational education and training students have returned to face-to-face classroom instruction.

What if a pupil is found to have been exposed?

An exposed pupil will be quarantined for 14 days. During the spring term, the education of a pupil in quarantine can be organised with special arrangements, e.g. distance education.

The exposed will receive later a targeted notice or a text message with instructions.

Can a pupil in quarantine eat in school? 

No. A pupil in quarantine cannot come to the school for a meal or to pick up food. For quarantined pupils a separate meal is arranged. The meals can be picked up by a guardian or another close person once a week with the pupil’s name. Follow the instructions in Wilma.

How will I be informed if my child has been exposed at school or in an educational institute?

Upon receiving confirmation of an infection from the Epidemiologic Operations Unit, the principcal will send a first notification as soon as possible to students and those guardians whose children are affected by the possible exposure. The first notification will have information about which classes or daycare groups might have been exposed if the group is larger than 10 people.

Once all those exposed have been determined, a targeted notification or text message link to an online form will be sent to the exposed persons or their guardians. The guardians or students can send the information required for tracing via an online form. The form also provides them with quarantine instructions.

Exposed children or students may be placed in quarantine based on the information provided in the online form. The quarantine decision will be sent at a later time by data-secure e-mail or post.

Once the exposed persons have been found and the text messages are on the way, the principal will send a follow-up notification to the guardians or students, indicating that all those exposed have been contacted separately.

If you receive a text message and a link to an online form, fill in the form immediately. This will expedite the tracing process.

In March 2021, Helsinki deployed first notifications to be able to inform guardians about possible exposures at daycare centres, schools and educational institutions as quickly as possible. The first notification will replace the so-called general notification used earlier, which was sent out only after tracing.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine means limiting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Some infectious diseases can transmit before the actual symptoms appear. Quarantine prevents infections from a potential asymptomatic carrier to other people.
Instructions for people in quarantine

Isolation means separating a person with an infectious disease from healthy people. The isolation can be organised at home or in a hospital. The aim is to prevent possible further infections.
Instructions for people in isolation

See also Quarantine and isolation information from the THL website

Support for businesses

Does the City of Helsinki help 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

Current recommendations and restrictions in Helsinki

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



16.06.2021 15:00