What to do if you suspect having contracted the coronavirus? Who is at high risk? Do children attend school and day care? Which services provided by the City of Turku are open? (Updated 31/8/2021)

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Coronavirus and health service

I have flu-like symptoms, is it coronavirus?

Symptoms of coronavirus vary and may even be very mild for some people. Symptoms may also occur in different combinations or separately. Symptoms may include e.g. runny and/or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, elevated temperature or fever, muscle pain/headache, unusual tiredness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and disturbances of smell and taste.

Even though pupils and students often experience only mild symptoms, it is important to get tested.

Merely based on symptoms, you cannot be sure whether respiratory tract infection is caused by coronavirus or another virus or bacteria. If you are suspected to have coronavirus, you will be tested. Testing involves inserting a swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth. So far, there are no antibody tests available at health stations.

When do I need a health care professional to evaluate my symptoms?

If respiratory infection symptoms include weakened general condition, clearly prolonged fever and shortness of breath, seek medical attention and guidance.

If you experience these symptoms, call the City of Turku coronavirus helpline (tel. +358 2 266 2714, Mon-Fri from 8 am to 3 pm), the centralised coronavirus helpline of school and student health care (tel. +358 2 266 2012, Mon-Thu from 8 am to 3 pm, Fri from 8 am to 12 noon) or joint emergency services of the Turku region (outside office hours, tel. +358 2 313 8800) or complete an online assessment of your symptoms at Omaolo. You can now also book a testing time trough Omaolo even on weekends. From the phone service or online symptom assessment, the patient is directed to the special unit for respiratory infectious disease patients at the health care station Mäntymäki, when necessary. In case of emergency, call 112.

  • You can now also book a testing time trough Omaolo even on weekends. It is also possible to complete the symptom assessment on behalf of a child aged under 15.
  • People aged under 15
    When the symptom assessment has been completed, the Omaolo service provides instructions on how to proceed. Data of children cannot be sent through the Omaolo service for professionals to assess. If Omaolo recommends a child under 15 years of age to get tested or to go to emergency services, please call the coronavirus helpline tel. +358 2 266 2714. People aged over 10 but under 18 will be notified about their coronavirus test results by contacting the number they have indicated in the patient information system.

What if I suspect having contracted the coronavirus?

If you have symptoms matching coronavirus, complete a COVID-19 symptom check-up using the Omaolo service (What to do if you suspect having caught the coronavirus infection) or contact one the following by phone: 

  • ​the coronavirus helpline of the City of Turku, tel. +358 2 266 2714 
  • If you are an comprehensive school student call to the centralised coronavirus helpline of school and student health care, tel. +358 2 266 2012 (open between 8 am and 11 am from Mon to Fri)
  • Upper secondary school students and vocational school students may call to the centralised student health care appointment booking number: +358 2 266 1570 (open between 8 am and 3 pm from Mon to Thu and between 8 am and 13 pm on Fri).
  • occupational health care
  • Joint emergency services of the Turku region, tel. +358 2 313 8800
  • Medical Helpline (during weekends), tel. 116 117

The health care professionals will interview you, evaluate the situation and give further instructions over the phone.

If you are suspected to have coronavirus, a health care professional provides you with instructions related to testing. Health stations use a test that involves inserting a swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth. So far, there are no antibody tests available.

The Omaolo service offers a a COVID-19 symptom check-up. Through the service, you can quickly get reliable information on your situation and you will be guided directly to the correct professional, if needed.

For Turku residents who have completed the symptoms assessment online, a time slot will automatically be booked online for coronavirus testing. You can now also book a testing time trough Omaolo even on weekends. It is also possible to complete the symptom assessment on behalf of a child aged under 15.

  • Read more: Coronavirus testing times can now be booked through Omaolo
  • People aged under 15: When the symptom assessment has been completed, the Omaolo service provides instructions on how to proceed. Data of children cannot be sent through the Omaolo service for professionals to assess. If Omaolo recommends a child under 15 years of age to get tested or to go to emergency services, please call the coronavirus helpline tel. +358 2 266 2714. People aged over 10 but under 18 will be notified about their coronavirus test results by contacting the number they have indicated in the patient information system.
  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare: Instructions for citizens on coronavirus

Where can I find information about vaccinations?

All info about vaccinations and how to book your time can be found at Coronavirus Vaccinations in Turku

What do I do if the Koronavilkku app notifies me about potential exposure?

Follow instructions given through the app. If you experience symptoms matching coronavirus, contact health care. If you don't have any symptoms, there is no need for contacting.

Where can I get tested for coronavirus and how much does it cost?

The test is free of charge.You can get tested at:

  • Tykslab units 
  • Varissuo health station (Mon-Fri from 9 am to 11 am and from 12 pm to 2 pm.)
    Please note! The testing point of Varissuo only serves Turku residents. Residents of nearby municipalities must use the testing points of their own municipality or Turku University Hospital.
  • Timetable of coronavirus prevntion bus on weekdays: 
    Halinen, Huudi (address Gregorius IX:n tie 8, Mon–Fri 10 am–11 am)
    Perno, sand field located opposite Höveli (address Hyrköistentie 26, Mon, Wed, Fri 12 noon–2 pm)
    Please note! The testing point of the coronavirus prevention bus only serves Turku residents. Residents of nearby municipalities must use the testing points of their own municipality or Turku University Hospital.
  • Students testing for coronavirus

How does the unit for patients with respiratory infecious diseases at Mäntymäki health care station work? 

You need to book an appointment by calling the coronavirus helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714 (Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm). Patients with respiratory symptoms are examined and treated at this unit and their need for hospital care is assessed.

How many of those initially infected will heal?

The majority of people who have contracted the coronavirus will heal. The majority of patients treated at the hospitals also recover.

Can I go to the dentist if I have respiratory infection symptoms and a tooth ache?

Patients with symptoms of respiratory tract infection (such as cough, sore throat, myalgia or fever) are treated only in urgent cases. Oral health care will send the customer a text message if the appointment is cancelled.

  • Booking oral health care appointments, tel. +358 2 266 0644

Where will I go during the weekend if I need a doctor for something other than symptoms of respiratory infection?

You can call Joint emergency services of the Turku region, TYKS Acute, tel. +358 2 313 8800

  • test your symptoms at Omaolo to check your need for care

How do I cancel my health care appointment when the telephone service is busy?

Appointments can be canceled 24/7 by telephone. First, select the health center you belong to and press 3. Then leave a message to the voicemail.

If the line is closed during office hours due to congestion, for example, the message cannot be left. Wait for the phone line to reopen and leave a message.

How soon can I get tested and how long do I need to wait for the result?

At the moment, you can get tested on the day of contacting or the following day. On weekdays, you will receive the result in 1 or 2 days after testing. If you have been tested during weekend, you will receive the result on the next weekday. When you have been tested, it is recommended to self-isolate until you receive the test result.

Turku residents are automatically notified about a negative test result by a text message. The telephone number of the customer needs to be found in the patient information system of Turku health care. If the phone number cannot be found in the patient information system, the text message cannot be sent. Children who have no phone number of their own will be notified about the test result by contacting the number they have indicated in the patient information system.

An automated text message for customers is sent twice a day. This means that results are given after 2 pm and 9 pm from Monday to Friday. You can also check the result using the Omakanta service.

I have an education within the health or social sector and I want to help. Who should I contact?

If you have an education within the health sector and are willing to offer your help, please contact Turku health services:

If you have an education within the social sector and are willing to offer your help, please contact Turku social services:

Is a person with COVID-19 obliged to inform others about condition?

Frequently asked questions on data protection and the coronavirus:

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Masks and recommendations to use a mask

Do I need a face mask to protect myself against coronavirus?

The regional coronavirus prevention task force of Southwest Finland stated on 6 October that the whole region of Southwest Finland has reached the acceleration phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Using a face mask is recommended in upper secondary education and higher education institutions as well as in public transport, indoors in public facilities, and in public events. The regional coronavirus prevention task force also recommends that private events involving more than 20 people should not be organized indoors from Monday 19 October onwards because of the acceleration of the pandemic.

Besides wearing face masks, it is important to keep safety distances and take care of good hand and coughing hygiene. Using face masks may reduce the spreading of respiratory secretions (droplets) into the nearby surroundings. In this way, they can also reduce infections caused by symptom-free carriers of the virus. 

The City of Turku has recommended the use of face masks for all passengers in public transport since August. All passengers using Föli transport must wear a face mask from Monday 15 March 2021 onwards. The obligation does not apply to passengers aged under 12 or passengers who have health-related reasons for not wearing a mask. During rush hours, buses may be crowded and it may not be possible to keep safety distances. Whenever possible, travel should take place outside rush hours. We also recommend that you continue to avoid using cash. Please use a mobile ticket instead or load a travel card online, for instance.

In addition, the City of Turku now requires masks to be used in indoor sports facilities. Masks must be used at all times apart from the sports activity itself. This applies to all indoor sports, including using sports facilities in schools for clubs and recreational use. Also, indoor ice rinks count as indoor sports facilities. City employees monitor and provide guidance for the use of masks. Persons who cannot use masks because of their health condition are not required to wear a mask. It is sufficient to self-declare this information.

When will face masks be distributed for the economically disadvantaged? Where can I get them?

Masks have been distributed by associations, diaconal workers, parishes, operators distributing food aid and mosques. Masks are distributed on weekdays from 12 noon to 6 pm in Monitori, Skanssi. From Monday 9 November onwards, masks are also given out in Monitori Market Square between 9 am and 11 am on weekdays and on Saturday between 10 am and 12 noon.

In accordance with recommendations of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of the Interior, masks are given to low-income municipal residents over 15 years of age for using public transport and public services. The purpose is to help people whose situation does not allow purchasing of masks. As a rule, municipal residents must purchase their own masks.

Why are City of Turku employees or Föli drivers not wearing masks?

For the part of mask recommendations for employees, the City of Turku follows recommendations given by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. According to these, the most important measures for preventing infections include washing hands and maintaining a safety distance.

The City of Turku employees that should primarily use masks are working in social and health care. Protective plexiglass has also been installed in City of Turku customer service points. For the part of other customer work, the city has not instructed the use of protective wear but e.g. employees who belong to high-risk groups can wear masks if they wish.

The City of Turku has recommended users of public transport to wear masks. As for Föli drivers, their safety at work falls under the responsibility of traffic contractors from whom the City of Turku orders the operating service and who are the employers of Föli drivers.

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High-risk groups and quarantine

Who is at high risk?

So far, there is little exact information available on which chronic illnesses expose individuals to a severe form of coronavirus. We update our list of risk groups as we receive more information. According to current information, people over 70 years of age are more susceptible to a severe coronavirus infection than others.

The risk of a severe coronavirus infection may be increased by such chronic illnesses that have a significant negative impact on the functioning of lungs or the immune system of the body.  Please monitor the information on risk groups defined by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, as there may be updates.

Who makes decisions on quarantine and isolation?

Decisions on quarantine are made by a chief physician for infectious diseases in the municipality. Quarantine refers to limiting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Some of infectious diseases can be transmitted even before any actual symptoms occur. The quarantine helps prevent the potential symptom-free carrier from infecting others. Isolation refers to isolating a person with coronavirus at their home during the period when they might infect others.

Quarantine practices to change for people who have been vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19

On 18 May, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has amended its guidelines on quarantine practices for those who have been vaccinated or have contracted COVID-19. In the future, a person exposed to the coronavirus will not be quarantined in the following cases:

  • The person has received both doses and at least one week has passed since the second dose
  • The person has received the first dose within 6 months of being diagnosed with the coronavirus infection and at least one week has passed since the vaccination
  • The person has a doctor’s certificate for a coronavirus infection diagnosed less than 6 months ago.

Your infectious disease doctor may decide otherwise in the assessment, and factors that may affect the effectiveness of the vaccine must be taken into account. The factors include the local mutant strain situation, age and underlying health conditions. The amended quarantine guidelines also apply to social and health care professionals.

Can you go outside or to the grocery store during quarantine?

The person in quarantine must avoid close contact with people outside the family. Going outside is allowed when not getting close to other people. For example, going to work, school, day care, hobbies or grocery store is not allowed because it is difficult to avoid close contact in these places.

Can quarantine always take place at home?

Quarantine can usually take place at home. However, if there are people over 70 years of age or people with underlying conditions living in your home, special arrangements may be considered. This is because the person in quarantine may fall ill and pass the disease on to others before accessing treatment. The illness caused by coronavirus may be serious for elderly people and people with underlying conditions.

Are there premises for quarantine in Turku?

The health care authorities in Turku are prepared to arrange premises for quarantine for both individuals and bigger groups. The premises for quarantine are meant for persons who fall ill in Turku but do not live there permanently (such as travellers) or persons who cannot stay home for quarantine (e.g. because they have a seriously ill person at home who they do not want to expose to the illness).

What does self-isolation mean?

If you arrive in Finland from a country that is red or gray in the traffic light model, self-isolating for 14 days is recommended. Self-isolation is recommended even if you return to Finland through a country categorized as green.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is updating the guidance on their website for travellers and employees arriving in Finland. The guidance also includes clear instructions for self-isolation:

Can I visit wards of Turku City Hospital without limitations?

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare issued instructions on 15 September regarding hospital visits. Patients in wards of hospital services belong to high-risk groups of coronavirus infection almost without exception. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, it is recommended that visiting patients in hospitals is avoided or reduced for the time being. To be able to visit, you must have adequate protective wear to ensure the safety of patients and other people. Visitors must wear protective wear throughout the duration of hospital visit. As a rule, the hospital doesn't provide masks but if the visitor doesn't have one or their mask is inadequate, they will be given one.

How is the meal service of those who live in welfare centers secured when restaurants are closed?

Some of the residents use home help service and will receive meals. Others will continue normally like any other elderly resident living in their own house.

How will the elderly get help for getting groceries?

Those who need the City of Turku home meal service should contact the support service unit, tel. +358 50 373 1037 (Mon-Fri 9 am–12 pm/noon).

Those welfare center residents who have used meal services of the center will have their pre-packed meals delivered home.

The grocery shopping service organised by the City of Turku ended on 18 June. The City of Turku Welfare Division advises customers of the shopping service to do their own shopping or ask a family member or another person close to them to help.

Persons who cannot do their shopping independently may be provided service by Gubbe Sydänystävä Oy. The service producer may offer help with shopping free of charge as a continuation to the shopping service provided the city.

Several grocery stores in Turku provide chargeable home delivery. You can order the food and home delivery online.

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Teaching and day-care

Is day care open?

Clubs and parks are open.
Open day care is open. 

Day-care centres continue to operate as normal. It has been recommended in Turku that parents wear a mask when bringing their child to day care and when picking them up. Day-care centre hallways often have little room, making it impossible to maintain safety distances. Considering the current coronavirus situation, the City of Turku Education Division recommends that parents should use a mask when they bring their child to day care and pick them up.
Clubs and parks are open. 

Are the schools and institutes open, is there contact teaching? 

Lower and upper comprehensive schools: open, in contact teaching. For more information check Wilma.

Upper secondary schools: open, in contact teaching. For more information check Wilma.

Turku Vocational Institute: open, in contact teaching. For more information check Wilma.

Matriculation exam schedule

Face masks in comperehensive schools, vocational institute and secondary schools (high schools)

The City of Turku Education Division will extend the recommendation to wear a mask to cover all pupils in grades 4 and up in City of Turku schools.  For students in contact teaching the masks will provided for free. 

Will the children have a meal service?

Children and youth who attend day care, basic education morning and afternoon activities, basic education, upper secondary education (high schools) and Turku Vocationnal schools in the City of Turku, will receive meals as usual.

Students in basic education distant teaching can pre-order school lunch package. More information has been sent directly via Wilma and www.turku.fi/en/schoolmeal-home. Students in distance teaching at TAI and upper secondary schools have more information in Wilma.

How is the school health care organised?

In case of corona or corona suspicion (grades 1-9), call t. 02 266 2012 Mon-Fri 8-11. For more information: School health care

School Transportation

Turku region public transport Föli school lines operate normally. Check schedules and exceptions at Föli's website: foli.fi/en. Masks are recommended to use during the rush hours.

Further information on recommendations and restrictions

Recommendations and Restrictions Related to Coronavirus in Turku

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City of Turku services and events

How does coronavirus affect services and events in the City of Turku?

  • The use of public and private customer and business premises is not restricted for the time being. Participants and groups must avoid close contact with each other when there are more than 10 people indoors and more than 50 people in confined spaces outdoors.
  • Indoors, close contact must be avoided. The instructions of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on the organization of public events should be followed.
  • The number of participants in public events and general meetings in accordance with the decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southwest Finland (AVI). AVI will issue a decision on meeting restrictions in the municipalities of Turku, Salo, Raisio, Kaarina and Parainen from 9 July to 8 August 2021.
    • Participants and groups must avoid close contact with each other when there are more than 10 people indoors and more than 50 people in confined spaces outdoors.
    • Same recommendations applies to private events.
    • Event organizers must still comply with the hygiene regulations in accordance with section 58 c of the Communicable Diseases Act (in Finnish) i.e. the organization of health-sage events.
    • The same recommendation applies to private events as to public events.

What should be taken into consideration when working with customers?

The Finnish Institute for Occupational Health provides guidance for employees who work in the service industry during the coronavirus situation. These guidelines can be applied in customer work with close contacts, e.g. at hairdressers, in restaurants and shops, in property servicing and guarding.

Where can I ask about serving and selling foods?

Please contact the City of Turku Environmental Health for information.

How do I return or change theater tickets?

All customers who have purchased tickets to canceled shows will be contacted. Tickets can be exchanged into gift cards, autumn shows or customers will be able to get a refund.  The theater has to be notified of ticket chances or refund requests by May 29.

Is the Turku Market Square open?

The Turku Market Square is open for the time being approximately from 7 am to 6 pm.

How can I get food aid intended for the economically disadvantaged?

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Restrictions of movement and public gatherings

There is no valid meeting restriction in Southwestern Finland (Decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland of 27 August 2021). At the same time, the requirement to avoid close contact will be lifted in public events and public meetings.

However, the organisation of events requires that their safety can be ensured by complying with the hygiene requirements laid down in section 58 c of the Communicable Diseases Act:  

  • customers and participants have access to wash their hands,
  • customers and participants are provided with sufficient instructions on how to maintain adequate distance, wash hands and other similar practices that prevent the spread of the infection,
  • the cleaning of facilities and surfaces will be made more efficient in addition to what is provided for elsewhere in this area and
  • the presence of customers and participants is arranged loosely in such a way that it is possible, taking into account the specific characteristics of the activity in question. If there is seating, the seats are placed sufficiently far from each other.

The temporary section 58 c of the Communicable Diseases Act is currently valid until 31 December 2021.

 

Are local buses operating?

Föli buses run operate as normal. Using a face mask in public transport is recommended.

More information can be found on the Föli website

Can I travel abroad?

The coronavirus situation varies by country. The situation is closely monitored in Finland and the national guidelines change depending on circumstances. Please keep an eye on the national recommendations found on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Non-essential travel to countries where the coronavirus epidemic hasn't subsided is not recommended.

How does traveling affect quarantine?

When you arrive in Finland At the point of entry:

  • you may have to provide: a certificate of a full vaccination series or of having had COVID-19 disease or a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken before your journey
  • you may get tested for COVID-19 or
  • your contact details may be collected.

Health security measures at the point of entry are determined by the Communicable Diseases Act (2016/1227). These health security measures do not apply to people arriving from countries where the incidence of COVID-19 infection does not pose a particular risk for the spread of the epidemic. These countries have been laid down in a Government Decree. Please note, however, that the communicable disease control physician of the municipality may, based on individual assessment, refer you to a health examination or place you in isolation or quarantine, regardless of where you are arriving from. You can check travel guidance at thl.fi/matkustajaohje.

Compulsory COVID-19 testing on entry

NO TEST You do not need to get tested if you have proof of:

  • having received a full series of coronavirus vaccinations, and at least two weeks have passed since your most recent vaccine dose.
  • having had COVID-19 less than 6 months ago.

1 TEST You must get tested 3–5 days after entering the country in your municipality of residence or the municipality in which you are staying if you have proof of:

  • having received a negative COVID-19 test result no earlier than 72 hours before arrival
  • having received a partial coronavirus vaccination series, and at least 2 weeks have passed since your vaccination.

2 TESTS All other people must get tested for COVID-19 when entering the country and 3–5 days after arrival in your municipality of residence or the municipality in which you are staying.

If a traveller aged 18 or over refuses to participate in a mandatory health examination, the penalty may be a fine.

How is a person ordered into quarantine monitored? Who is responsible for monitoring?

The decision on quarantine is always made by the municipal chief physician for infectious diseases. In Turku, quarantine is monitored by calling from Infectious Diseases Monitoring.  

How soon will those who have tested positive be contacted? What measures are taken after a positive test result?

Those who have been tested for coronavirus are contacted by phone as soon as the test result is ready. Persons who have a coronavirus infection are also given more specific instructions for quarantine, for keeping an eye on their symptoms and for seeking further care if necessary. Those who have tested positive for coronavirus are also asked about where they may have caught the infection and who may have been exposed.

Does quarantine also apply to staff on planes?

Quarantine does not apply to plane staff who have only visited the airport of the country of destination.

Where will a person stay if they are ordered into quarantine after travel?

A person in quarantine can stay home. In quarantine, it is acceptable to get fresh air outside but going to work, school, day care, stores or other public facilities is forbidden. Other family members can carry on their everyday life as normal. 

Why are passengers who arrived on the flight allowed to go home by bus?

According to the latest instructions, a person who has been ordered into quarantine can use public transport for essential affairs if they wear a face mask. Essential affairs include, for instance, a medical appointment or going from the airport directly to home for quarantine. A person who is in quarantine cannot go to work, early childhood education and care, stores or other public facilities. 

Is it safe to take a bus stopping at the airport? 

Keeping safety distances in buses is difficult particularly during rush hours. Using a face mask is recommended for all passengers. Please see the instructions given by Turku region public transport Föli for safe travel:

•    Do not travel if you are ill.
•    Wear a face mask when travelling by bus.
•    Remember to keep the safety distance. If possible, keep more distance to other passengers than usual at bus stops, inside the bus and when getting on the bus.
•    Pay your journey using a travel card or a ticket purchased using the Föli app. Load a travel card online.
•    If possible, travel outside rush hours (rush hours are between 7 am and 9 am as well as between 2 pm and 5 pm). Usually the most crowded buses include buses heading to the city centre of Turku in the morning and buses heading away from the city centre in the afternoon. 
•    Take care of hygiene by washing your hands often. There is hand sanitizer available on Föli buses.

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