Coronavirus Q&A for exchange students

Page updated 24.3. at 14:18 PM.

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

NB! If you have any questions about quarantine or isolation, please contact the Coronavirus helpline: +358 2 266 2714.


University of Turku

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

Åbo Akademi University

  • email: exchange at / anna-karin.totterman at / malin.walitalo-palo at
  • tel. +358 505922839 (Anna-Karin) / +358 50 3106473 (Malin)

Turku University of Applied Sciences

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

If you are exposed with coronavirus and you have symptoms, you need to stay in quarantine until you receive the test result. 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.)

If your test result is positive, you need to stay isolated. If you test positive with a home test, also then you need to be isolated. Isolation means that a person with an infectious disease is isolated from those who are healthy.

THL: Quarantine and isolation

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 if you have symptoms and until you receive your test result.

When should I take a test?

You should take a home test if you have covid-19 related symptoms (check THL page).

Should I take a home test?

Yes, THL and City of Turku recommend everyone to take a home test if you have covid-19 related symptoms. The testing capacity of City of Turku is currently overloaded. If your home test is positive, please isolate yourself.

You can buy home tests from the grocery stores and pharmacies.

Where can I go get officially tested?

COVID-19 testing in Turku (free of charge) for those with symptoms

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

Call the coronavirus Turku helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714 to book testing appointment (open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 3 pm). Unfortunately the helpline is overcrowded so it will take some time before they’ll answer. The Call-Back-Service won’t necessarily work on foreign phone numbers, so please try to get yourself ESN prepaid card from the ESN office (ask help from your tutor)

Pori: Pori region co-operation information number: +358 2 623 4333 (Everyday 8-16. Other times call Satasairaala hospital service number 116 117). 

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 in Turku

Halinen, Huudi (address: Gregorius IX:n tie 8, this street is quite near Student Village) Mon–Fri 9.00–11.00

Varissuo (behind the hamburger restaurant, next to Varissuo ice hall entrance ramp, address: Tiirikkalankatu), Mon–Fri 12.15–14.15 pm. You can get the corona test free of charge.

NB! If you don’t call Corona Helpline before you go to the bus, you might not be able to get a temporary Finnish ID for testing and therefore not get tested in the bus. Please call the coronavirus Turku helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714.

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

Corona test bus in Turku: 

Halinen, Huudi (address: Gregorius IX:n tie 8, this street is quite near Student Village), Mon–Fri 9.00–11.00

Varissuo (behind the hamburger restaurant, next to Varissuo ice hall entrance ramp, address: Tiirikkalankatu), Mon–Fri 12.15–14.15 pm.

You need Finnish ID in order to get tested in some of the buses. Please call coronavirus helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714 to inquire whether you can get tested in the bus.

You need to bring your ID card with you to the bus. The test is free of charge.

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

Call the coronavirus Turku helpline, tel. +358 2 266 2714 to book testing appointment (open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 3 pm). 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.

Some of the busses might not test students without Finnish ID.

May I leave my apartment for a corona test?

Yes, that is allowed.

Please remember to use facemasks when you leave your apartment for the test.

How long do I need to stay isolated if I test positive with home test / official test?

We will update this information soon.

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.

On my floor/shared apartments 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 start developing any symptoms, please make a home test or get tested officially. Currently, exposed persons who are vaccinated do not need to stay on quarantine, but you must stay on quarantine if you get sick until you receive the test result.


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.

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: 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 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.

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.

The unit for patients with respiratory infecious diseases at Mäntymäki health care station:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

Currently, according to the health authorities, you need to take a test if you have symptoms.

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,, 0403417296 (Finnish, Swedish, English)
Tiina Hallikainen,, 0403417308 (Finnish, English) 

Please check also the website of City of Turku about support during coronavirus pandemic.

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?

Currently, we don't have information on third vaccinations to international students. We will update this as soon as possible.

1st and 2nd vaccinations: book the appointment from City of Turku COVID-19 vaccination helpline, tel. +358 2 266 0159  (on weekdays from 8 am to 2 pm). Pop up vaccination events are also possible.

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.

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:öo_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.

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.

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.

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), if you were tested officially either in the testing points by appointment via covid19 helpline or in the testing bus.

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

At the moment you need to get tested before entering Finland, If the test is negative, you can enter Finland and no quarantine is needed when vaccinated.

You can use FINENTRY service to get detailed information about entering into Finland during coronavirus pandemic

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.