Instructions for People in Quarantine or Isolation
Quarantine means limiting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Asymptomatic persons can be ordered to be quarantined if they have been exposed to the coronavirus, for example when they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Quarantine prevents infections from a potential asymptomatic carrier to other people. COVID-19 can transmit already 48 hours before the actual symptoms appear.
According to the Finnish Communicable Diseases Act (1227/2016), a communicable disease control physician in the municipality may order persons to be quarantined if they have been exposed to a generally hazardous infectious disease. If you’re unable to work from your home, you have the right to receive sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease. The same applies to people who have custody of children under the age of 16.
Isolation means separating a person with an infectious disease from healthy people. In other words, persons diagnosed with COVID-19 are isolated. The isolation can be organized at home or in a hospital. The aim is to prevent possible further infections.
Official quarantine and isolation are administrative decisions. Therefore, they are statutory obligations and adherence to them is not voluntary. The length of quarantine or isolation is determined case-by-case.
During the quarantine, you are NOT allowed to…
- Have any contacts with persons not living in your own household.
- Go to your workplace, school, or day care. You may however work from home as usual.
- Use public transport such as train, bus or taxi. When necessary, you may call for a specially equipped taxi that has protective acrylic screens inside the car. You must ask for such a car specifically when booking the car.
- Go to a restaurant, shopping centre or other public spaces.
- Go to a grocery store or pharmacy, or visit offices and public services. If you need help acquiring food and medicines, please ask your near ones for help. It is advised they leave the groceries outside your door and do not visit your apartment when delivering them.
- You may not invite guests, hire a cleaner or other employee to work in your home, or visit others. This does not apply to home care, home nursing or other similar services. Nevertheless, you must inform the service providers of your quarantine before they arrive at your home.
- Go to church, a mosque or other similar place.
- Go to a theatre or cinema, or visit sports venues or other recreational places.
- Meet other people than your family, even when these persons are also quarantined.
- Use common areas or the common sauna in your building. Avoid using lifts. If you have the use a lift, make sure you’re alone in the cage.
- Remember to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and keep your hands clean. Avoid touching surfaces also touched by others, such as handrails and lift buttons.
- If you do not have any symptoms, you may go outside provided you don’t go near other people. You must keep a distance of at least 2 meters to passers-by.
Quarantine is usually carried out at your own home. However, if you live with persons that are over 70 years old or suffer from a chronic disease, please inform the Sipoo COVID-19 Contagious Diseases Tracking Unit. The illness caused by coronavirus can be serious for the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.
Family members to a quarantined person are not quarantined themselves, unless they also have been exposed to COVID-19. In other words, your family members may leave the home for errands.
If you experience symptoms while in quarantine, follow the instructions for COVID-19 testing.
Regardless of the length of the quarantine, you should monitor the potential onset of symptoms for 14 days from the start of exposure. If you develop symptoms during the quarantine, follow the Guide on testing for COVID-19. The symptoms of Covid-19 include for example headache, blocked nose, throat pain, runny nose, cough, muscular pain, fever, loss or change to sense of smell or taste, stomach pain, diarrhea, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
During the quarantine, you are not allowed to meet other people outside your own family, not even when they also are quarantined. This is due to the risk of exposure.
What am I allowed to do when I’m isolated? What is forbidden?
- Stay at home until your isolation time is terminated. Do not invite people to visit your home.
- Avoid close contacts with other family members.
- Others living in the same apartment with you can reduce the risk of infection by avoiding close contact with you, and by practicing good hand hygiene.
- If possible, other people living in the same apartment should not be in the same room with the patient. The patient should also sleep in a separate bed. If this is not possible, the distance between them and the patient should be at least 2 meters.
- When ill, rest and adequate intake of fluids is important. Fever and aches can be relieved with medicines that are available from a pharmacy without a prescription.
- Ensure good hand and cough hygiene.
- Use a personal towel or paper towels to dry your hands.
- Avoid touching food products or preparing meals served to other people.
- Take care of good ventilation in common rooms; open the windows in the toilet, bathroom, or kitchen, for example.
- Do not use the common areas in your building, such as the laundry room or sauna, during the isolation.
- We recommend cleaning high-touch surfaces daily with regular detergent. High-touch surfaces include door handles, faucets, a fridge door, a coffee maker, and remote controls, for example.
- Clean your toilet daily.
If you’re only experiencing mild symptoms, you do not have to go to a hospital.
If your symptoms become more severe (your breathing becomes heavy, or you’re feeling short of breath), please call the health care centre at 09 2353 6001 during office hours. Outside office hours, call the Medical Helpline number at 116 117. If your condition becomes worse quickly, call the emergency number 112. Make sure to mention that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Last modified 17.01.2022