Coronavirus Q&A for exchange students

Page updated 24.3. at 14:18 PM.

Answers to student questions regarding coronavirus infections in student village, Retrodorm or Varissuo apartments will be collected to this page.

NB! If you have any questions regarding your personal quarantine, please contact the Coronavirus helpline: +358 2 266 2714 or send an email at tartuntataudit.hyto at turku.fi.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES

University of Turku

  • email: incoming at utu.fi
  • tel. +358 29 450 5100

Åbo Akademi University

  • email: exchange at abo.fi / katie.mills at abo.fi / harriet.klåvus at abo.fi
  • tel. +358 50 3106473 / +358 469216130

Turku University of Applied Sciences

  • Art Academy: jussi-pekka.piiparinen at turkuamk.fi, tel.+358 50 598 5869
  • Faculty of Health and Wellbeing: taina.nordgren at turkuamk.fi, tel. +358 40 355 0421
  • Faculty of Engineering and Business: reetta.partala at turkuamk.fi / leena.saarinen at turkuamk.fi, tel. +358 50 598 5687 / +358 50 5985 849
  • also a Teams channel in use
Who has to stay in (voluntary) quarantine?

The chief physician responsible for infectious diseases in a municipality or hospital district can order people into quarantine. Quarantine refers to limiting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Some infectious diseases may become contagious before the actual symptoms develop. Staying in quarantine is to prevent an asymptomatic person from infecting others. Isolation means that a person with an infectious disease is isolated from those who are healthy.

www.turku.fi/en/news/2020-10-07_instructions-people-ordered-quarantine-or-isolation

Students who are sick or have been exposed have been in isolation or quarantine. The quarantine continues, and the length will be examined individually depending on the situation.

If I have been in quarantine for 7 days (or longer), do I still need to stay in quarantine another 2 weeks starting from Thursday 18th of March?

The quarantine continues, and the length will be examined individually depending on the situation.

I got Covid-19 in the beginning of March and my quarantine is over. Do I still have to stay in quarantine?

IF you have been sick recently and finished the quarantine, you do not need to stay in quarantine again.

I have been in quarantine lately and have not seen anyone on my floor for two weeks. We have kitchen schedules and nobody is there at the same time. On my floor there are several Covid-19 positive persons. My tests are negative. Do I have to stay inside?

When you live in a place with several Covid-19 positive persons, you can easily be infected. If you are not sure, whether you have been exposed or not, you should discuss with the health authorities.

If I need to go to Helsinki – what are the regulations for going there by bus? If I need to use the bus in general?

You may use the local traffic, but you need to use a face mask and travel only for urgent reasons. Such reasons are for instance a visit to a doctor or moving from the airport directly home and for staying in quarantine.

A person in quarantine is not allowed to go to work, school, shop or other official areas.

If you have to use Föli buses you need to

  • Avoid using public transport if you are feeling ill
  • Wear a face mask on the bus.
  • Maintain a safe distance. Try to keep a greater-than-normal distance from other passengers at stops and when boarding and exiting buses.  
  • Pay for your bus trip with a travel card or a ticket purchased via the Föli application. Load your travel card online.
  • If possible, avoid using public transport during peak hours (7–9 and 14–17). The buses going to Turku centre in the morning and the buses departing from the centre in the afternoon are typically the fullest.
  • Take care of personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently. Föli buses have hand sanitizer available for passengers.
Where can I go get tested? Which place is the cheapest one to get tested so that I can travel?

City of Turku does not offer certificates for travelling. COVID-19 testing is reserved for those who have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus. Testing for travelling is not included in this. Some countries need a certificate of COVID-19 test that the City of Turku does not offer. Some countries also have a strict instructions in terms of the timeline that the test must have been taken. The City of Turku cannot promise that the results will arrive within a certain time frame. That is why we recommend that you reserve an appointment at one of the private health care clinics in Turku that can make the test and give you the necessary information. You must pay for COVID-19 testing at the private clinics.

COVID-19 testing in Turku (free of charge)

Tykslab (vsshp.fi). Please note that you need doctor’s referral and booked time. You can get the referral from Omaolo or from COVID-19 helpline.

Testing place in Varissuo (address: Nisse Kavon katu 3) where you do not have to reserve appointment time beforehand. The health care centre is open from Monday till Friday at 9am-11am and from noon-2pm. If you don’t have Finnish social security number, they will make you a temporary one that makes it possible to register you into the health care system. You need to bring your ID card with you.

COVID-19 testing bus

Student village (address: Inspehtoorinkatu 3 C) 26.-28.3. Time schedule will be announced later.

Halinen, Huudi (address: Gregorius IX:n tie 8) Monday-Friday 9.30am–11am

Perno/Pansio (address: Hyrköistentie 26) Monday-Friday 12–2pm

If I have received the COVID-19 vaccination before arriving in Finland, do I still have to stay in quarantine?

At the moment you still need to stay in the quarantine even if you have the COVID-19 vaccination before arriving in Finland or during your stay in Finland.

Will exchange students take the COVID-19 test at the end of their quarantine?

Due to the serious pandemic and accommodation with shared kitchens we recommend you to get tested for a second time near the end of your quarantine.

Will there be a testing bus in the Student Village, Retrodorm, Varissuo or should we go to general testing places in Turku?

There will be testing at Retrodorm lobby on Tuesday 23.3. and there will be testing possibility for the Retrodorm residents also on week 13.

Testing bus will arrive in the Student Village during the weekend 26.-28.3. where you can take a test free of charge.

Testing place in Varissuo (address: Nisse Kavon katu 3) where you do not have to reserve appointment time beforehand. The health care centre is open from Monday till Friday at 9am-11am and from noon-2pm. If you don’t have Finnish social security number, they will make you a temporary one that makes it possible to register you into the health care system. You need to bring your ID card with you.

What if I need pharmacy products?

In case you need medical comforts or other pharmacy products, the number one possibility is to have someone get them for you. If this is not feasible, there is home delivery service from Skanssi pharmacy,for example: www.skanssinapteekki.fi. Delivery is not available on weekends. Number for ordering home delivery is 020 792 8482. Cost 10 euros.

Skanssi pharmacy also has an online service on verkkoapteekit.fi. It is only in Finnish, but there are product pictures. Prescription medicines are also possible to have delivered home. In case of prescriptions, you should call the number above and ask for instructions.

If you want to save at the delivery fee by ordering together, please note they can add no more than two small packages of painkillers to one order due to Finnish law of pharmaceutics. And if you order together, take extra care when delivering products to others to avoid contacts.

How long are the quarantine and isolation times for the coronavirus?

If you have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for the coronavirus, the quarantine is 14 days or more. You will get an email with further instructions. The quarantine is a doctor’s order which you must obey and stay home, preferably in your own room and avoid others. It is a crime to break the quarantine/isolation and you can receive a fine if doing so.

If you get any symptoms or have been exposed to the coronavirus, it is important to get tested. You do not always get symptoms from the coronavirus.

If you get a negative test results, the quarantine is still the same 14 days.

If you get a positive test result, the isolation is 10 days. In this case it is best to stay only in your own room and avoid common areas.

When does the quarantine start?

The quarantine of 14 days starts from the last contact you have had with the person who has tested positive.

How long do I need to wait for the call if I have been exposed?

Unfortunately, there are so many people who have tested positive or have been exposed at the moment that contact tracing will take several days. The authorities will try to reach everyone as soon as possible. Remember to keep your phone open, so that the authorities can reach you.
 

Can my quarantine end sooner if I receive a negative test result during it?

No. If you get tested and receive a negative test result during your quarantine, the quarantine still continues and lasts 14 days. This is important! The incubation period for the coronavirus is 1–14 days, therefore you can get a negative test on the 5th quarantine day but test positive later. You cannot shorten an isolation with a negative test result either.
 

If I test negative, but others in my room or floor have tested positive, can I go to the store?

No. If you have been exposed to the coronavirus, you must stay home in quarantine for 14 days. Groceries will be delivered to your home. You can also use your contacts to get help with buying or ordering food.
 

Can I go for a walk in the woods or outside?

The situation in Turku at the moment is very serious and we strongly recommend that you stay at home, preferably in your own room, and wait for further instructions. Once the health officials contact you, they can give you more instructions on your quarantine.

Do I need to get retested?

You will get retested at the end of your quarantine or isolation. Nurses will call you during the quarantine/isolation with further instructions. The test is very important since this is the variant virus – everyone must get tested two times during quarantine.
 

Should I get tested if I have been exposed but do not have any symptoms?

Since the virus that is currently spreading is the variant virus, it is important that everyone in quarantine gets tested. This way, we can break the chain of infections sooner.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

If you get tested positive, you will be in isolation which will last 10 days from the start of your symptoms. If you have no symptoms, the isolation of 10 days starts from the positive coronavirus test.

If you are exposed to the coronavirus, you will be in quarantine for 14 days starting from your last contact with a person who has tested positive.

Is there any psychological help available remotely during this extended stay at home?

There are services available in your own university, such as psychologists or the university chaplains that you can contact.

University Chaplains of Turku University: 
Mia Pusa, mia.pusa@evl.fi, 0403417296 (Finnish, Swedish, English)
Tiina Hallikainen, tiina.hallikainen@evl.fi, 0403417308 (Finnish, English) 

What can I do if I see people who do not follow the quarantine or isolation rules (even if I ask them to)?

You can always call 112 (emergency number) and explain the situation to them. A police patrol will be sent to check the situation and they will explain the importance of following the instructions regarding coronavirus and possible quarantine/isolation.

How soon will students be able to get vaccines?

In Finland, we are currently vaccinating people who are over 70. Unfortunately, it will take several months before we can vaccinate people around the age of 20.
 

Can food from the canteen be delivered to students in quarantine/isolation? Food deliveries are expensive and some students are not well enough to cook and some want to avoid common areas.

Unfortunately, you cannot visit the Unica car if you are in isolation or quarantine. The Student Union recommends ordering food home with food delivery companies at the moment. The City of Turku will provide food aid for all exchange students living in TYS buildings or Retrodorm.

Try to use common areas as little as possible and always wear a mask and disinfect your hands. If you have tested positive, visit common areas only when necessary and preferably when others are not there.

Can empty apartments be organised for those who wish to avoid students who have tested positive?

The City of Turku is looking into this possibility regarding the Retrodorm. If you are living with others, remember to take good care of hand hygiene and safe distances. Always put a mask on and disinfect your hands when leaving your room. Instructions about cleaning and hygiene will be sent as well.

I'm planning to return from my home country back to Finland. What should I do?

When coming to Finland from abroad, you must follow the national instructions regarding entry. At this point, two test are recommended. Pending test results, you must be in voluntary quarantine. Travel is a clear risk in this corona pandemic situation, so only necessary travel is appropriate according to Finland's national guidelines.

Where can I get a certificate of having had the corona infection for travel (purpose of travel is returning home)?

You will receive a certificate stating that you have had the corona infection at the end of the isolation from the health authorities (infectious disease).

Are we allowed to go to the laundry room located in another building despite the quarantine, or how are we going to wash our clothes?

During the quarantine you can visit the shared kitchen. When doing that, please use hand sanitizer and put on a clean mask first and then go to the kitchen quickly. You must wear the mask at all times while in the kitchen and take care of good hand hygiene. The same goes for the laundry. You must be alone in these facilities. Only use the facilities when necessary and with these precautions.


If you have symptoms, please avoid using these facilities in order not to spread the infection.

English instructions for cleaning a sick person's room: https://www.turku.fi/sites/default/files/atoms/files/englanti_-_ohje_kun_perheessasi_on_koronavirusta_sairastava_henkilöo_marras_2020.pdf

How can you take out the garbage if not allowed to go out at all?

Garbage can be taken out during quarantine, because when doing so you are not leaving the yard. If you have symptoms it is not recommended that you do this yourself if there is someone else who can help you with it.

In Varissuo, the police say that only buildings B and C are quarantined and those in building A are allowed to move freely. Is it so?

Persons assigned to quarantine or isolation live also in houses other than the ones under supervision. The same instructions apply to everyone. In buildings under supervision during quarantine, movement outside one’s own home and within close range of one’s home is restricted to control the epidemic situation. The most important task of quarantine and isolation is to break the chains of infection as quickly as possible.

What to do if you haven’t received a food delivery?

Please contact Manu Jalonen at manu.jalonen@turku.fi or tel +358 2 262 6003. If you have any dietary restrictions, you can contact this same address. The next food delivery will be on Friday March 26 2021.

Can a roommate bring friends in the same room?

While in quarantine and isolation, do not meet other people as you may infect or expose them to the virus. Some infectious diseases can be transmitted even before the actual start of symptoms. Quarantine prevents infections from a potential asymptomatic carrier to other people.

How can I check that my car is ok?

In quarantine, you can quickly check your car if it is parked nearby and if it is absolutely necessary. You can also ask a friend or acquaintance to check on the car.

Why were police officers called to monitor houses?

Corona is a serious infectious disease for which very exceptional measures are used around the world to protect people. An exceptionally high number of corona infections were found among university students living in Turku, and because of this the city decided to use exceptional means to take control of the situation. Isolation and quarantine are based on the Finnish Infectious Diseases Act. The police were called in to monitor the houses so that those in isolation and quarantine would not leave their homes and risk infecting more people.

Some who were infected with the corona virus already in early March, got information that the quarantine ends by the end of this week. Do they still have to be quarantined?

If you have already been infected with the corona virus and been ill, then you will not be quarantined again.

Is the corona bus coming to Varissuo?

Varissuo has its own testing station, where you do not need to make an appointment. The testing station at Varissuo Health Center is open Mon-Fri 9–11 and 12–14. The Varissuo testing station serves Turku residents and those living in Turku, including exchange students living in the city.
If you do not have a Finnish social security number, they will provide you with a number to record your information in the health care system. Bring your ID card with you.

May I leave my apartment for a corona test?

Yes, that is allowed, even when you are in quarantine.

How can I be tested when I do not have a Finnish social security number?

You can be tested without a Finnish personal number at Varissuo (address: Nisse Kavon katu 3) where you do not have to reserve appointment time beforehand. The health care centre is open from Monday till Friday at 9am-11am and from noon-2pm. If you don’t have a Finnish social security number, they will make you a temporary one that makes it possible to register you into the health care system. You need to bring your ID card with you.

And the Corona testing bus, outside Huudi, S-Market in Halinen (Gregorius IX, 8 street) Mo-Fri 9.30-11

Perno/Pansio (Hyrköistentie 26) Mo-Fri 12-14

Student village (Inspehtorinkatu 3 C) Saturday and Sunday 27-28.3. Times will be announced.

If you don’t have a Finnish social security number, they will make you a temporary one that makes it possible to register you into the health care system. You need to bring your ID card with you.

Who to contact if my state of health gets suddenly worse?

If your state of health gets worse, in the evenings and weekends you must call the Turku region emergency services (Tyks Acute) directly, tel. +358 2 313 8800. You always have to call before leaving for emergency services.  

You can also always contact the national emergency number 112 and they will give you instructions on what to do.