Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki
This page is updated with current information about the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki.
Main instructions
  • University premises will remain closed until 28 March 2021. The University’s libraries and museums as well as UniSport will comply with the recommendations of the coronavirus coordination group of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Self-access facilities and computer rooms will be closed until 28 March 2021. Teaching facilities will be opened as requested by the response centres.
  • The recommendation to telecommute is valid until 30 June 2021. A stricter policy for telecommuting as much as is possible continues until 28 March 2021.
  • Remote teaching continues until 28 March 2021. Only the relevant response centre may grant permission to provide necessary instruction as contact teaching. Examinarium examinations can be organised in accordance with the spring teaching programme, taking group sizes into consideration. 
  • Public examinations of doctoral theses will be arranged remotely until 28 March 2021, and it is recommended that plans will be made to arrange public examinations primarily remotely until 30 June 2021. On-site public examinations of theses may only be arranged with special permission by the relevant response centre.
  • Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present. The recommendation remains valid until further notice. 

The next info session on the coronavirus situation will be held on Monday, 1 March 2021 from 9.00 to 11.00More information on this info session on Flamma.

Last updated on 26 February (Latest decisionsFor students and teaching personnelFor researchersUniversity buildingsEvents; Telecommuting, working on the University premises, working hours; Recovery plan for University operations).

Decisions by the crisis management team, 25 February 

Due to the decisions made by the Finnish government pertaining to the ongoing exceptional circumstances, the validity of the following decisions is extended to 28 March 2021

University premises 

University premises will continue to be closed as present until 28 March. The University’s libraries and museums as well as UniSport will comply with the recommendations of the coronavirus coordination group of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. 

Work 

The recommendation to telecommute is valid until 30 June, and the stricter provisions on the necessity of telecommuting whenever the job description allows it will remain valid until 28 March. The coronavirus situation and the telecommuting recommendations are reviewed at regular intervals. 

The recommendation to wear protective face masks remains valid until further notice. 

Teaching 

Teaching will continue to be provided remotely until 28 March so that contact teaching can be provided only when necessary, as permitted by the relevant response centre. While the Regional State Administrative Agency’s restrictions on gatherings do not apply to teaching, groups should be kept as small as possible. 

Examinarium examinations can be organised in accordance with the spring teaching programme, taking group sizes into consideration. 

Public examinations of doctoral theses 

Public examinations are held online until 28 March. It is recommended that public examinations be primarily planned as virtual events until 30 June 2021. Public examinations can be held on site only with the permission of the relevant response centre. 

Furthermore, gatherings of more than six people in the same space must be avoided, with the exception of necessary teaching or examination situations. 

De­cisions by the coronavirus man­age­ment team, 23 February 2021

The University’s recovery plan

The University’s revised recovery plan was approved for implementation.

Teaching in autumn 2021

The starting point for guidelines for the planning of teaching in the autumn term 2021 is to enable safe contact teaching.  

  • Teaching and examinations will be planned and organised so that safe distances can be observed in the facilities in question. 
  • Small group teaching will be prioritised in contact teaching. As a rule, mass lectures will be delivered remotely.  
  • In contact teaching, priority will particularly be given to first-year students in bachelor’s and master’s programmes as well as second-year students in bachelor’s programmes. The situation of international students will be considered separately. 
  • Degree programmes will stagger on-site teaching periods wherever possible. 
  • If it turns out that all planned contact teaching cannot be provided in a safe manner, the relevant response centres will determine the prioritisation of contact teaching. 

According to current estimates, about one-third of courses in the teaching programme can be safely organised as contact teaching on University premises. 

Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present. The recommendation to wear protective face masks remains valid until further notice. In addition, safe social distancing must be always observed whenever possible to prevent exposure.

Teach­ing, study­ing, guid­ance and su­per­vi­sion

  • In the case of traineeships, the safety and security guidelines of the traineeship organisation (e.g., hospitals) are observed.   
  • The University is obtaining protective face masks for students and teachers involved in contact teaching.
  • The masks provided by the University are intended primarily for working and learning situations.

Research and other work

  • Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present.
  • In meetings that must be held on site, masks are to be used, with the organiser of the meeting responsible for providing masks for the participants.
  • The University is providing masks needed in professional duties for the staff.

The response centres will assist members of the University community and partners in interpreting the recommendation and promoting compliance with it.

The University is unable to provide masks separately for commuting between your home and place of work or study. The cloth masks provided by the University should be used primarily in situations related to work and studying.

The University is procuring both cloth masks and disposable masks. For the sake of the environment, the recommendation is to primarily use washable cloth masks.

People with limited means can collect masks from mask distribution points organised by the Helsinki Metropolitan Area municipalities.

The University’s protective face mask recommendation will be updated, when necessary, according to national guidelines. 

 In­struc­tions for us­ing pro­tect­ive face masks

  • Put the mask on using clean hands.  
  • Do not touch the mask when wearing it.  
  • Remove the mask with clean hands by grasping the ear loops. Used cloth masks are put in a paper or plastic bag and washed according to the instructions. Disposable masks are disposed of. Finally, wash your hands.  

Further instructions: How to use protective face masks: video by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (in Finnish only) 

Pro­tect­ive face mask pro­cure­ment at the University

According to need, University units can order disposable respirators and protective face masks. The University is procuring, in a centralised manner, cloth masks equipped with the University logo. Further information on the procurement of disposable respirators and protective face masks as well as on the distribution of cloth masks is available on Flamma intranet.

Updated on 26 February: Teaching will continue to be provided remotely until 28 March so that contact teaching can be provided only when necessary, as permitted by the relevant response centre. While the Regional State Administrative Agency’s restrictions on gatherings do not apply to teaching, groups should be kept as small as possible. 

De­cisions valid un­til 28 March 2021

Teaching will continue to be provided remotely until 28 March so that contact teaching can be provided only when necessary, as permitted by the relevant response centre. While the Regional State Administrative Agency’s restrictions on gatherings do not apply to teaching, groups should be kept as small as possible. 

As a rule, no more than 10 people are allowed to be present in contact teaching and on-site examination sessions. For compelling reasons, the above number may be raised to no more than 20 at the discretion of the relevant response centre. Small-group instruction and any necessary examinations will be made possible by opening facilities as requested by the relevant response centre.

De­cisions valid from 29 March to 31 July 2021

Teaching, supervision, guidance, and examinations will, as a rule, continue to be provided remotely in spring term 2021. Contact teaching and on-site examinations can be organised primarily for groups of no more than 50 individuals.

Contact teaching can be organised if instruction cannot be provided remotely without significantly compromising the quality of learning and learning outcomes. The overall amount of contact teaching must not significantly exceed the amount of contact teaching provided during autumn term 2020. The need for contact teaching will be assessed by the faculty-specific response centres, who will also determine priorities and provide necessary instructions for degree programmes. 

In­struc­tions and de­cisions valid throughout the en­tire spring term 2021

Safety guidelines must be observed: everyone is expected to practise social distancing and good hand hygiene, wear a face mask, and make sure that they do not enter the campuses when ill.

At­tend­ing teach­ing 

Compulsory class attendance does not apply to contact teaching, unless the completion method in question requires physical presence (such as laboratory courses, patient encounters, skills courses). Degree programmes will determine substituting procedures for such courses. 

Whenever possible, students in at-risk groups must be offered independent study alternatives. No verification is required from students for at-risk notifications.

Attendance in remote teaching sessions may be required as specified in the curriculum. 

Fur­ther in­struc­tions

For further instructions on teaching arrangements in spring term 2021, see the  Instructions for Teaching website. For instructions for students, see the Instructions for Students website.

Teaching in autumn 2021

The starting point for guidelines for the planning of teaching in the autumn term 2021 is to enable safe contact teaching.  

  • Teaching and examinations will be planned and organised so that safe distances can be observed in the facilities in question. 
  • Small group teaching will be prioritised in contact teaching. As a rule, mass lectures will be delivered remotely.  
  • In contact teaching, priority will particularly be given to first-year students in bachelor’s and master’s programmes as well as second-year students in bachelor’s programmes. The situation of international students will be considered separately. 
  • Degree programmes will stagger on-site teaching periods wherever possible. 
  • If it turns out that all planned contact teaching cannot be provided in a safe manner, the relevant response centres will determine the prioritisation of contact teaching. 

According to current estimates, about one-third of courses in the teaching programme can be safely organised as contact teaching on University premises. 

Use of teach­ing fa­cil­it­ies

Compliance with the relevant safety guidelines is required in all University facilities: safe social distancing and hand hygiene must be observed, in addition to which entering the campuses when ill is prohibited. Furthermore, the following instructions pertaining to the coronavirus situation must be taken into consideration:

Occupancy limits in observance of safe social distancing have been determined for teaching facilities. The occupancy of individual facilities denotes the number of people allowed in the facility at the same time in addition to the teacher.

  • The occupancy limits are available in an Excel sheet on Flamma and the timetabling and facility booking system Optime (both require login with University credentials), as well as, in the case of teaching facilities in shared use, on the facility booking website.
  • As a rule, University teaching facilities can be booked for groups of no more than 50 people.
  • Timetables and teaching facility use for the academic year 2020–2021 are planned on the basis of facility occupancy that allows safe social distancing.

Self-access facilities and computer rooms are closed from until 28 March 2021. Computer rooms will be opened for teaching as requested by the response centres. Examinarium examinations can be arranged according to this spring’s teaching programme, provided that group sizes are kept as small as possible. Instructions for accessing Examinarium facilities are provided on the Instructions for Students website. Support for digital teaching is available (UniTube studios).

In the booking of facilities, teaching organised by the University will be given priority.

Teaching facilities and lobbies are not available for booking by external parties until 30 April 2021.

Flex­ible solu­tions for stu­dents and teach­ers

The University of Helsinki is intensifying the use of flexible solutions to promote students’ progress and graduation:

  • Applications are accepted for a further extension to study right extensions granted to ensure the completion of studies. All students whose right to study expires on 31 July 2020 can apply for an extension. When deciding on the matter, the impact of the exceptional circumstances will be taken into account.

Fac­ulty-spe­cific in­struc­tions

See Faculty- and unit-specific instructions.

Updated on 26 February: Carrying out research activities that involve individuals from outside the University community on University premises is not recommended. These recommendations are valid until 28 March 2021 and can be amended according to any future changes in the coronavirus situation.

Research on University premises

Whenever possible, all research must be conducted by telecommuting. If working part- or full-time on University premises is necessary for research purposes, the matter must be agreed with the relevant supervisor. Working on University premises is not permitted on the basis of a personal notification.

Per­sons from out­side the University par­ti­cip­at­ing in research

Carrying out research activities that involve individuals from outside the University community on University premises is not recommended. Whenever possible, research-related interviews are to be conducted remotely.  

Carrying out research activities that involve individuals from outside the University community on non-University premises requires a compelling reason. Interviews conducted outside the University should be conducted remotely.  

However, if physical examinations or interviews are carried out for reasons of necessity, at-risk groups should be left out.

These recommendations are valid until 28 March 2021 and can be amended according to any future changes in the coronavirus situation.

Laboratory fa­cil­ity use

In laboratory work, a registration procedure is to be used, in addition to which work must be planned in observance of safety and security guidelines. Response centres can issue further instructions and provisions pertaining to the safety of laboratory work.

When working in laboratory facilities, the University’s general guidelines pertaining to work in the exceptional circumstances must be observed.

No more than 50% of the workstations in a given space may be in use at the same time. Only one person can be present at any one time in small offices, laboratories and other small rooms, with the exception of laboratories in which at least two people must be present for safety and security reasons. The two-metre social distancing rule must be followed in laboratories. Equipment in shared use must be cleaned before and after use.

Some of the laboratories are also used in teaching, in which case one must also take into account the instructions for use of teaching facilities, which can be found in the Instructions for teaching.

If you observe activities carried out in contravention of the valid recommendations in any laboratory facilities, please contact the dean of your faculty. You can also contact the University’s Occupational Safety Officer.

The im­pact of coronavirus out­break on research fund­ing

Please see Research funding information on the Flamma intranet (requires login).

Updated on 26 February: University premises will continue to be closed as present until 28 March. The University’s libraries and museums as well as UniSport will comply with the recommendations of the coronavirus coordination group of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Gatherings of more than six people in the same space must be avoided, with the exception of necessary teaching or examination situations. 

University premises closed un­til 28 March 2021

The electronic access rights of staff remain operational.

Gatherings of more than six people in the same space must be avoided, with the exception of necessary teaching or examination situations. 

Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present.

A building where porter services are available, for example, for deliveries, is open on each campus. In closed buildings, porter services are provided to staff. The cleaning and maintenance of closed buildings are conducted as usual.

Teaching facilities will be opened as requested by the response centres.

University premises will not available for booking by external parties without special permission granted by the relevant response centre until 30 April 2021.

Buildings that are open

City Centre Campus

  • Porthania (Yliopistonkatu 3) Mon–Fri 7.45–18.00 
  • Minerva (Siltavuorenpenger 5A) Mon–Fri 7.45–18.00

Meilahti Campus

  • Haartman Institute (Haartmaninkatu 3) Mon–Fri 7.45–16.00 
  • Biomedicum I (Haartmaninkatu 8) Mon–Fri 7.30–18.00 
  • Biomedicum II U (Tukholmankatu 8 B) Mon–Fri 8.00–16.00 
  • Dental Clinic (Kytösuontie 9) Mon–Fri 7.30–18.00

Kumpula Campus

  • Chemicum (A.I Virtasen aukio 1) Mon–Fri 7.45–18.00

Viikki Campus

  • A-Building (Latokartanonkaari 9) Mon–Fri 7.45–18.00 
  • Student Building (Koetilantie 7) Mon–Fri 11–13.30

Lib­rar­ies, museums, Think Corner and UniSport

he University’s libraries, The Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus, Helsinki University Museum as well as UniSport will comply with the recommendations of the coronavirus coordination group of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. 

Kaisa House Library and Viikki Campus Library are open for pick-up service only. The National Library of Finland offers a self-service pickup for materials. In accordance with the service limitations set on 22 February 2021, use of the Special Collections Reading Room and the North Hall Reading Room continues in a limited capacity and by appointment only. See the National Library website for more information.

Think Corner is closed for public until 28 March 2021.

Self-ac­cess fa­cil­it­ies

Self-access facilities and computer rooms are closed from until 28 March 2021. Computer rooms will be opened for teaching as requested by the response centres. Instructions for accessing Examinarium facilities are provided on the Instructions for Students website. Support for digital teaching is available (UniTube studios).

Updated on 26 February: No events or gatherings will be held on University premises until 28 March 2021. Public examinations are held online until 28 March. Gatherings of more than six people in the same space must be avoided, with the exception of necessary teaching or examination situations. 

Pub­lic events

No events or gatherings will be held on University premises until 28 March 2021. Furthermore, gatherings of more than six people in the same space must be avoided, with the exception of necessary teaching or examination situations. 

Events in the spring 2021

As a rule, events to be held in the spring 2021 must be organised as online events. Furthermore, large events that require presence on site should be postponed.

Further information and instructions: University of Helsinki conference and events team, helsinkiuniconferences@helsinki.fi, helsinkiunievents@helsinki.fi

Con­fer­ences

International conferences are to be organised online until 31 August 2021, unless postponed to a later date. 

The University’s conference and events team has instructed conference organisers in matters related to the cancellation and postponement of events. If an organiser has not received an email or has questions, they should contact helsinkiuniconferences@helsinki.fi.

Pub­lic ex­am­in­a­tions of doc­toral theses

Public examinations are held online until 28 March 2021. It is recommended that public examinations be primarily planned as virtual events until 30 June 2021. Public examinations can be held on site only with the permission of the relevant response centre. 

In conjunction with online public examinations, only the doctoral candidate, the opponent, the custos and other members of the grading committee, if any, an IT support specialist and the immediate family of the doctoral candidate are permitted to be present on site. The maximum occupancy of individual rooms is 6 people.

Instructions on the use of teaching facilities can be found in the Instructions for teaching.

Are you a new employee at the University of Helsinki? Ask your supervisor how the exceptional circumstances affect the beginning of your work.

If arriving from abroad, a 14-day self-quarantine is recommended whenever professional duties allow, regardless of the country of departure.

If you are a new employee arriving from abroad, and your employment has not yet begun but you need to visit your workplace, you should, in the first instance, seek a coronavirus test at the airport when you arrive in Finland. If this is impossible, request a payment order from on-site HR Services to get tested for coronavirus by the occupational health provider.

Please also consider the effects of the coronavirus situation on the residence permit application process abroad and the availability of public authority services related to entry to Finland provided in Finland. Using public authority services on site is not recommended during quarantine, but in-person appointments should be booked well in advance.

Further information on restrictions related to entry to Finland (including quarantine regulations) is available on the website of the Finnish Border Guard.

Updated on 26 February: The recommendation to telecommute is valid until 30 June, and the stricter provisions on the necessity of telecommuting whenever the job description allows it will remain valid until 28 March. The recommendation to wear protective face masks remains valid until further notice. 

The re­com­mend­a­tion to tele­com­mute is valid un­til 30 June 2021, a stricter policy for tele­com­mut­ing un­til 28 March 2021.

The recommendation to telecommute is valid until 30 June 2021. A stricter policy for telecommuting as much as is possible continues until 28 March 2021.

Whenever possible, all work (including research) must be completed by telecommuting. If full-time telecommuting is impossible, the employee must discuss with their supervisor the possibility of part-time telecommuting.

The University regularly monitors the coronavirus situation and the authorities’ recommendations for telecommuting. The recommendation to wear a face mask is valid until further notice.

Ob­serving com­mon rules re­mains the top pri­or­ity in pre­vent­ing the spread of the coronavirus  

  • Do not come to the campuses when ill or when experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus disease Assess your need for testing here: Omaolo service.
  • Be sure to practise extremely careful hand and coughing hygiene.
  • Leave room for others, and always keep a distance of at least two metres from others, whenever possible.
  • Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present.
  • Do not shake hands or hug people.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact. In other words, meet in person only when necessary.
  • Please remember to clean any equipment in joint use after using it. Overall, cleaning activities at the University have been intensified.

Meet­ings

No events or gatherings will be held on University premises. This does not apply to absolutely necessary meetings of no more than 6 individuals (e.g., statutory company meetings).

Er­go­nom­ics and tele­com­mut­ing

University staff have been provided with adequate tools and ergonomic aids for working at home when this is necessary for the performance of work duties or employee health. Detailed instructions on ergonomics are available on the Flamma intranet (requires logging in with University credentials).

When returning to work at the University premises, any ergonomics-related equipment must be returned to the University. Supervisors must ensure that any work equipment taken home is returned to the workstations they were borrowed from in the spring. When continuing part-time telecommuting after the exceptional circumstances, employees must independently acquire any work equipment needed for telecommuting, while the employer is responsible for equipment needed at the workplace.

Tele­com­mut­ing con­nec­tions

Zoom and Teams are good tools for holding virtual meetings. In the current situation, it is advisable to consider whether video is required or whether audio would suffice. Using video consumes considerably more network capacity compared to audio only.

The University of Helsinki utilises the Funet Miitti (Zoom) service by CSC, implemented through NORDUnet in cooperation with other Nordic countries. The NORDUnet environment is not associated with the same information security risks as those related to the Zoom service in public use. Read more about the Zoom information security in a Flamma news article (requires login with University credentials) and and more generally about the information security in video conferencing on the Helpdesk instruction website.

Use a VPN connection only when needed, and remember to switch it off when you no longer need it. Due to the exceptional circumstances, there is a shortage of VPN connections at the University. Further information: Instructions for remote working (Helpdesk instructions)

If you need, for example, a camera or microphone while telecommuting, please write to helpdesk@helsinki.fi. With the permission of the relevant supervisor, new equipment can be requested from Helpdesk, which will procure it, but your unit will be responsible for the equipment costs. For this, you need the WBS code of the unit paying for the purchase.

The University has ex­ten­ded the cov­er­age of its oc­cu­pa­tional ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance for tele­com­mut­ing from 30 March 2020

LähiTapiola’s supplementary insurance for telecommuting applies to work carried out remotely indoors as well as outdoors in the immediate vicinity of the telecommuting location when going on and returning from a break. The insurance also covers lunch and coffee breaks. The insurance does not cover breaks during which the employee leaves the telecommuting location, for example, to go buy groceries or to take a walk.

The supplementary insurance is valid until further notice and regardless of the country from which employees are telecommuting. The insurance covers harm caused by an accident, death and a per-diem allowance after an accident. The insurance does not cover equipment.

Flex­ible work­ing hours

Until 28 February 2021, specialist and support staff can work more flexibly, on weekdays between 5.00 and 22.00. If necessary, they can also work on Saturdays until 18.00 and take a day off during the week. This makes it possible to rotate working hours in units, when necessary, upon an agreement between the supervisor and employee. Working hours must be clocked in as usual. Remote work must be clocked in as remote work.

Re­cruit­ment and new em­ploy­ees dur­ing the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances

Instructions for supervisors: Recruitment during the current exceptional circumstances at the University (on the Flamma intranet, requires login with University credentials)

Em­ploy­ees’ ab­sences due to ill­ness

During the exceptional circumstances, you can, exceptionally, be absent from work for five days of illness without a medical certificate.  

After five days, please call the OmaTyöterveys service or contact the Digital Clinic. A doctor or nurse can provide a medical certificate, primarily via a remote appointment. During the exceptional circumstances, an occupational health nurse can provide a medical certificate up to the 10th day of absence.  

The five-day rule for absences due to illness also applies to caring for a sick child at home (in such cases, salary is paid for the first four days of absence).

Fall­ing ill and con­tact tra­cing – University of Helsinki / ​oc­cu­pa­tional health / ​pub­lic health­care

If you sus­pect you have con­trac­ted the coronavirus

If you suspect that you may have contracted coronavirus, complete a symptom assessment on the omaolo.fi website and follow the instructions to get tested by public healthcare. Further information on public coronavirus testing and services is available on the website of your municipality.

  • Do not arrive at your place of work or study before receiving the test result.
  • Getting tested for coronavirus is not counted as working hours.

As of 1 January 2021, the coronavirus testing services offered by the University's occupational health provider can be used in the following exceptional cases only:

  • You need a negative test result for a work-related trip. You must have a valid travel plan approved by your supervisor.
  • Due to a work-related reason and as instructed by your supervisor, you must return to your workplace after a work-related trip before the end of the self-isolation period (14 days) following your return.

A referral to a coronavirus test can be obtained from the occupational health nurse assigned to your unit via the Digital Clinic.

If you are a new employee arriving from abroad, and your employment has not yet begun but you need to visit your workplace, you should, in the first instance, seek a coronavirus test at the airport when you arrive in Finland. If this is impossible, request a financial commitment from on-site HR Services to get tested for coronavirus by the occupational health provider.

If you have con­trac­ted the coronavirus (pos­it­ive test res­ult)
  • You will receive a call from the healthcare service provider and a quarantine order, in addition to which you will be questioned about potential exposure among your immediate circle.
  • We ask you to immediately notify your supervisor or teacher of your coronavirus infection. This enables us to quickly react and prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.
    • Details relevant to the work and study community include whether you have visited your place of work or study when infectious, when you have visited your place of work or study and whether you have stayed in the same facility for more than 15 minutes with other individuals (and their identity, if known).
  • Individual infections are not disclosed by supervisors and teachers.
  • Supervisors must notify potentially exposed colleagues as well as visitors and customers who have spent a longer time at the relevant facility of any infections and potential exposure, directing them to work or study from home. Furthermore, supervisors must contact the unit director and the head of the response centre. Supervisors must also contact the relevant porter to arrange cleaning of the facilities. This task falls on the supervisors because the University of Helsinki wishes to act responsibly and ensure the health and safety of all its employees at the workplace. The detailed tracing of infection chains is not the responsibility of University employees, as this will be handled by the authorities.
  • Teachers must contact the head of academic affairs of their faculty to receive instructions on the measures to be taken. For more information, see Instructions for teaching
  • The relevant authority, in this case the unit responsible for epidemiological operations under the social services and healthcare division of the municipality will identify chains of infection and contact the relevant individuals (supervisor, teacher), depending on the circumstances, to carry out contact tracing. For the authority to be able to identify chains of infection and contact exposed individuals, the identity of the persons present at the facilities at the same time as infected individuals is important.
  • When necessary, on-site HR Services or student services staff will assist in communicating to the work community and providing contact details to the municipality’s epidemiological operations unit for contact tracing.
  • When necessary, personal data (name, contact details) will be disclosed to the municipality’s epidemiological operations unit in order to protect the vital interests of employees, students or other individuals.
  • Exposed individuals are quarantined for 14 days and can arrange to work or study remotely.
  • We recommend that all members of the University community download and install the Koronavilkku application. Follow the instructions provided by the app.

Stay home when ex­per­i­en­cing symp­toms of a cold or the flu

If you experience any symptoms of a cold or the flu, you must stay at home until you have not experienced these symptoms for at least 24 hours. For those working in healthcare, this limit is 48 hours.

Men­tal sup­port

If you are anxious and worried about the situation, support is available from occupational healthcare. The Huolikulma chat service offers easy-to-access support for staff. Early chat-based support may prevent concerns from developing into a major problem. The chat can be accessed in the Digital Clinic of the OmaMehiläinen application.

Occupational healthcare also offers dialogue-based support organised through remote services. Further information is available from Mehiläinen’s OmaTyöterveys service, contactable by phone at 010 414 0777 or via the OmaMehiläinen application.

A national coronavirus helpline has been established and can be contacted free of charge by calling 02 9553 5535. The helpline is open on weekdays from 8.00 to 21.00 and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 15.00. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. The helpline provides general information about the coronavirus, not advice pertaining to health in general.

Mielenterveystalo’s digital support material relating to concerns and uncertainty due to the coronavirus epidemic (in Finnish only)

Infor­mation on the current disease situ­ation

Further information on the latest developments as well as on the symptoms associated with the coronavirus and relevant protective measures is available on the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare website.

Instructions have also been published by Mehiläinen, the University’s occupational health provider.

Other oc­cu­pa­tional health­care mat­ters

You can book an appointment with an occupational health nurse through the online booking system. In this system, all bookings can be made for a phone consultation. In the field Additional information specify that you wish to book a phone consultation, and the occupational health nurse will call you.

You can also send a message to your designated occupational health nurse or doctor through the occupational healthcare tab in the OmaMehiläinen app.

To book an appointment for any other health specialist, you must call the OmaTyöterveys number 010 414 0777. Mehiläinen prefers remote consultation whenever possible.

Coronavirus and quar­ant­ine

Quar­ant­ine when ar­riv­ing from abroad

Latest travel instructions of the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare.

Quar­ant­ine in Fin­land
  • Notify your supervisor immediately of the quarantine and its estimated duration.
  • Agree on any potential absences, telecommuting and holiday arrangements.
  • Apply for the sickness allowance paid on account of an infectious disease from Kela.
  • Submit a medical certificate within 10 days to Payroll Services and a leave of absence application in the SAP HR system. In the application, specify the reason for your absence as ‘quarantine’.

Those in quarantine can also be provided dialogue-based support by occupational healthcare. Contact the OmaTyöterveys service either by calling 010 414 0777 or using the OmaMehiläinen app.

Kela will pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease for the period of the employee’s absence from their work due to a quarantine. This allowance compensates for the loss of income incurred to the employee for the absence without pay. Further information on the Kela website

Whenever possible, an agreement on telecommuting should be made with the supervisor. If telecommuting is possible only partially, the employee may apply for a part-time leave of absence in the SAP HR system and, to compensate for the loss of income, independently apply for a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease from Kela. Read more about telecommuting in the section Telecommuting, working on the University premises, working hours, leave.

Persons who record their working hours for externally funded projects must check whether their tasks in the project can be completed by telecommuting. Other tasks must be agreed on separately with the relevant unit director.

What if a family mem­ber is quar­ant­ined?

Notify your supervisor immediately of the quarantine and its estimated duration. Agree on any potential absences, telecommuting and/or holiday arrangements.

If you agree on an absence, apply for a leave of absence in the SAP HR system.

Kela will pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease to the parent of a child under 16 years of age who has been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, causing loss of earnings. Apply for the sickness allowance from Kela.

In conjunction with telecommuting, persons who record their working hours for externally funded projects must check whether the assigned project-related tasks can be completed by telecommuting.

Quar­ant­ine abroad
  • Notify your supervisor immediately of the quarantine and its estimated duration.
  • Agree on any potential absences, telecommuting and holiday arrangements.
  • If you agree on an absence, apply for a leave of absence in the SAP HR system.

Kela will pay a per diem allowance to persons in isolation or quarantine within the EU. A certificate of quarantine or isolation from a doctor authorised to order such restrictions in the country in question is required. Employees quarantined outside the EU are in a more complicated situation, for evidently Kela will not pay a per diem allowance for them.

Employees quarantined during a work-related trip will receive their normal salary during the quarantine (doctor’s certificates must be submitted to Payroll Services), in addition to which the employer will compensate any necessary costs incurred by the prolongation of the trip.

Whenever possible, an agreement on telecommuting should be made with the supervisor. Read more about telecommuting in the section Telecommuting, working on the University premises, working hours, leave.

In the case of employees quarantined during a holiday trip, the absence will be considered an absence without pay, unless otherwise agreed. At the moment, in cases of employees quarantined abroad, agreements on part-time telecommuting or holidays can be made.

Persons who record their working hours for externally funded projects must check whether their tasks in the project can be completed by telecommuting. Other tasks must be agreed on separately with the relevant unit director.

In­struc­tions for su­per­visors

Falling ill and occupational health, instructions for supervisors (on the Flamma intranet, requires login with a university user name)

Travel

Travel abroad or in Finland must be limited to necessary travel only. The guidelines for travel restrictions set by the Finnish government must be observed. Always check the current situation of the regions where travel restrictions apply before booking a trip and travelling.

If you need to travel on a personal matter to a destination to which travel restrictions apply, agree in advance with your supervisor on telecommuting, a holiday or an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of your quarantine.

When travelling, the general travel recommendations issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland must be taken into account.

Decisions on overseas travel undertaken for essential work are taken by the University’s units. The University’s travel guidelines must be followed when making travel arrangements.

Employees must book trips through the CWT travel agency, making sure that the trip can be cancelled. Further travel information is available on Flamma.

Coronavirus test­ing and short­en­ing the dur­a­tion of quar­ant­ine when ar­riv­ing from abroad

Check the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare website for up-to-date information on coronavirus testing and the possibility of shortening your self-quarantine period.

FINENTRY service provides travellers arriving to Finland with information and instructions on coronavirus testing and self-quarantine.

Vis­it­ors

Visiting scholars and teachers as well as visitors required for carrying out University operations can, when necessary, arrive at the University. However, safety and security guidelines as well as the guidelines set by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare pertaining to a 14-day quarantine after arrival in Finland must be observed. Check the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare website for up-to-date information on coronavirus testing and the possibility of shortening your self-quarantine period.

 If University operations are carried out in the facilities of other organisations, they may have practices of their own. Particularly in Meilahti, special attention should be paid to the instructions provided by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.

As an exception, the University of Helsinki will receive visitors whose visit is essentially linked to the continuity of support services for research and education, such as necessary equipment maintenance and deliveries. Visits must be planned and timed so that contact with University staff is as limited as possible. Visitors are sent general safety and security instructions in advance pertaining to the exceptional circumstances at the University.

Can­celled work-re­lated travel

The University’s travel insurance covers cancellations of trips to areas which the authorities classify as areas where all travel should be avoided for the planned duration of the trip. See the latest detailed information on the grounds for reimbursement on the website of the If insurance company. The travel insurance company If has announced that it will not compensate any work-related travel costs for trips cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic after April.

Booked and can­celled work-re­lated or conference trips

When cancelling or postponing a trip, you should contact the CWT travel agency, as they have booked the trip. If the time to departure is less than 48 hours, please call CWT customer service at +358 20 5615 635. In other cases, detailed instructions for related communication are available on Flamma (requires login with University credentials).

Primarily, reimbursement of the conference fee for a cancelled conference must be claimed from the conference organiser.

If certain expenses have not been reimbursed after the above claims, any such costs will be covered by the University and allocated to the project which would have covered the trip expenses in the first place.

Fac­ulty of Ag­ri­cul­ture and Forestry

Prac­tical in­struc­tions for the ex­cep­tional situ­ation at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Fac­ulty of Arts

Prac­tical in­struc­tions of the Fac­ulty of Arts for the ex­cep­tional situ­ation

Fac­ulty of Biological and Environ­mental Sciences

Prac­tical in­struc­tions of the Fac­ulty of Biological and Environmental Sciences in the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances

Fac­ulty of Edu­ca­tional Sciences

Prac­tical in­struc­tions of the Fac­ulty of Edu­ca­tional Sciences for the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances

Fac­ulty of Law

Prac­tical in­struc­tions of the Fac­ulty of Law for the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances

Fac­ulty of Medicine

Prac­tical in­struc­tions for the ex­cep­tional situ­ation at the Fac­ulty of Medicine

Fac­ulty of Pharmacy

Arrangements in the Faculty of Pharmacy due to coronavirus

Fac­ulty of Science

Special instructions on Kumpula Campus

Fac­ulty of So­cial Sciences

Practical instructions of the Faculty of Social Sciences for the exceptional situation

Fac­ulty of Veter­in­ary Medicine

Practical arrangements at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine during the coronavirus outbreak

In­de­pend­ent In­sti­tutes

Helsinki Institute of Life Science: Prac­tical in­struc­tions for the ex­cep­tional situ­ation at HiLIFE

Open University

Latest information for Open University students

Helsinki University Library

Library Services at the Exceptional Situation Caused by Corona Virus

Na­tional Library

Limited service

Finnish Mu­seum of Natural His­tory

The effects of the coronavirus situation at the Luomus public attractions

The university acts responsibly and helps society in its efforts to battle the Corona COVID 19 epidemic. The University wants to ensure staff and student safety and at the same time enable everybody to continue their studies and research in these exceptional circumstances. Under the authority of the Rector, the Coronavirus Management Team will make necessary decisions required by the situation.

The University follows the recommendations and regulations of the Finnish State, the University Central Hospital (HUS) and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

A pandemic planning committee is active at the University. The chair of the committee is Vice-Rector Tom Böhling.

Furthermore, a management group has been established on the University level in accordance with the University's preparedness plan for emergencies, tasked with managing and coordinating practical matters related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus, as well as making decisions pertaining to the issue. This group is chaired by Director of Administration Esa Hämäläinen.

Read latest updates, symptoms caused by the coronavirus and ways to protect against it on the National Institute for Health and Welfare website: How to protect yourself against the Covid-19 -coronavirus.

The website also provides information to those arriving in Finland made by the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Residents of Helsinki can call the city’s telephone advice service on the telephone number (09) 310 10024 if they experience symptoms or want to ask for advice regarding the coronavirus.

A national coronavirus helpline has been established and can be contacted free of charge by calling 02 9553 5535. The helpline is open on weekdays from 8.00 to 21.00 and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 15.00.

Updated on 26 February

Common safety guidelines must be taken into account on all restriction levels. The University complies with policies set by the authorities and regional coronavirus coordination groups. Support activities will be restored in stages according to operational needs. If the situation worsens, recovery will be suspended and the relevant restrictions imposed.

Restriction level 3

Decision-making: crisis management team and response centres

Associated with the community transmission phase of the epidemic, taking into account the prevention measures on tiers 1, 2 and 3 set by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

  • Telecommuting recommendation valid to an extent that matches with the relevant tier of prevention measures
  • Research: On-site research activities in accordance with the notification procedure and guidelines set by the relevant response centre
  • Teaching: Compulsory laboratory courses and demonstrations of competence organised with restrictions, public examinations of doctoral theses held online
  • Events not organised, buildings mainly closed, self-access facilities closed, significant restrictions to travel

Restriction level 2

Decision-making: crisis management team and response centres

Partial lifting of restrictions to University operations

  • A partial telecommuting recommendation valid, working on site possible upon agreement with the supervisor
  • Research: Research activities in University facilities can be increased at the discretion of the relevant parties
  • Teaching: Laboratory and field courses as well as examinations can be held on site; teaching provided mostly remotely; on-site public examinations can be organised, taking into account participant numbers and safety guidelines
  • Large-scale events are not organised; public attractions, customer service desks and self-access facilities can be opened at the discretion of the relevant parties; restrictions to travel

Restriction level 1

Decision-making: normal management system. Crisis management team and response centres, as authorised by the rector

Partial restrictions remain in place on University operations

  • Extended telecommuting arrangements utilised, working on site permitted
  • Research: Research groups transition to almost normal activities
  • Teaching: Contact instruction can be organised; public and mass lectures are not organised
  • Public attractions, customer service desks and self-access facilities can be opened
  • International activities (including travel) increased wherever possible

Normal operations

Decision-making: normal management system

University operations in the new status quo

  • The University operates in accordance with the conditions prevailing in the new normal
  • Integration of experiences gained in the pandemic into the University identity