Quarantine during COVID-19

According to the Communicable Diseases Act, a person may be quarantined due to exposure to a generally hazardous communicable disease. Quarantine issued by the doctor in charge of communicable diseases is an authority decision which is based on evidence or justified suspicion that the person has been exposed to the disease. During the quarantine, the person must stay at home and not meet with other people than family members living in the same household. A municipal or city authority will confirm the quarantine.

Self-imposed quarantine is a recommendation. Self-quarantine is recommended to people who have, for example, arrived in Finland from a country with a lot of COVID-19 cases. A person in self-quarantine must stay at home or in their lodging and avoid close contact with people outside their own household when possible.

The same rules concerning what is allowed during a quarantine apply both to the self-quarantine as well as the official quarantine.

Learn more: Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare – Quarantine and isolation 

What is not allowed during the quarantine?

During the quarantine, you are not allowed to...

  • go to your workplace. You can, however, work from home. Discuss this with your employer.
  • go to school or other place of study. For potential remote study, refer to the instructions from your school.
  • go to church, a mosque or other similar place.
  • go to a restaurant, grocery store, shopping centre or other public spaces.
  • visit a swimming pool or other sports venues.
  • visit other recreational places.
  • go to a theatre, cinema, restaurant or bar.
  • use public transport such as train, bus or taxi.
  • invite guests to your home or visit others.
  • hire a cleaner or other employee to work in your home. This does not apply to home care, home nursing or other similar services. Service providers need to be aware of your quarantine before they arrive at your home.

How should I behave at home during the quarantine?

At home, you can stay in the same premises with the rest of your family. Sleep alone in another room, ventilate the room by opening the window in the morning and evening for at least 15 minutes.

Pay special attention to hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose tightly with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, use your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, to cover your face when you cough or sneeze. Put the tissue in a plastic bag immediately after use, close the bag and place it in a waste container. Wash your hands with soap and water. In addition, you can use hand sanitiser.

You can clean and wash the used cutlery as usual. Excretions such as vomit or sputum should be wiped off using household detergents, preferably disinfectant, if possible. You can wash clothes and bedding normally in a washing machine.

Is it allowed to go outside during the quarantine?

If you live in a detached dwelling or sparsely populated area, you can go out in your own yard, but you must not be in direct contact with people outside your household. If you live in an urban area or apartment building, you can go out near your own home. Keep more than two metres away from other people. Use the elevator alone.

It is allowed to take pets out if nobody else can do it. Also in this case, you must keep more than two metres away from other people.

You can drive your car but, as a quarantined person, you are not allowed to go to places where you may come into direct contact with people outside your own household. If you want, you can drive, for example, to your summer cabin.

If, during the quarantine, you should need an ambulance, inform the emergency response centre personnel about your quarantine when you make the emergency call.

Is it allowed to visit a grocery store during the quarantine?

A quarantined person may not visit a grocery store. However, a family member living with you in the same household can go shopping as normal, unless they have been quarantined. A relative or friend living elsewhere can go shopping on your behalf and leave the groceries at your door. They must, however, deliver the groceries without physical contact with you.

Groceries or grocery deliveries can also be ordered online. However, the payment and delivery must take place without physical contact with the deliverer.

If you are unable to arrange for food to be delivered to you, your municipality will see to your catering in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act. Such catering arrangements are always made on a case-by-case basis.

Does the quarantine always concern the entire family?

Your family members are not in quarantine if they have not been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, that is, they have not been exposed to the infection. The situation becomes different if the person quarantined falls ill.

Right to receive infectious disease allowance

You can receive infectious disease allowance when you have been ordered quarantined or isolated and to be away from work in order to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. As a guardian of a child under the age of 16, you are also entitled to receive a infectious disease allowance if your child has been ordered to stay at home due to a communicable disease and for this reason you cannot go to work. More information about the infectious disease allowance and applying for it is available on the Kela website  (in Finnish).

If you have been exposed to the COVID-19 or you suspect that you or your family member has been infected with COVID-19, read the separate instructions.

During the quarantine, you can also contact the doctor through the Mehiläinen Digital Clinic.