Coronavirus advice for Espoo residents

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2020-05-25 9:00

On this website, the City of Espoo collects information about the coronavirus, its effects on the city’s operations and advice for Espoo residents. The website will be updated as the situation changes. Latest update: 29 May 2020 at 10.15.

Coronavirus Helpline and testing

  • If you suspect you have contracted the coronavirus, call Espoo’s coronavirus helpline, tel. 09 816 34600 (Mon–Fri at 7:00–18:00). Outside these hours, please call the Medical Helpline, tel. 116 117. 
  • Everyone with symptoms of the coronavirus (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of smell/taste or diarrhea/abdominal pain without any other clear reason) can get tested. We will give you testing instructions on the phone.
  • SMS service for the hearing impaired at Samaria health centre, tel. 043 825 1811
  • You can also assess your symptoms at www.omaolo.fi and you will get instructions based on your symptoms.

Instructions for treatment at home:

The contact information of health service in other matters

Please notice that you can only visit a health centre if you have booked an appointment.

  • Appointment booking to Espoo health centres in other matters than corona, tel. 09 816 34500, Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00
  • Oma Lääkärisi Matinkylä, tel. 09 855 4100, Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00
  • The Medical Helpline will help you in the evening and at weekends when health centres are closed. Tel. 116 117.
  • Contact information of health centres in Espoo: espoo.fi/healthcentres
  • Video appointments with an on-call nurse are available. Go to the appointment booking system: espoo.terveytesi.fi

Mental health services are there to help you if the coronavirus is making you feel worried or anxious:

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, tel. 09 816 31300, Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00
  • Social and Crises Emergency Services is there to help outside these hours, tel. 09 816 42439

Support for everyday life

  • Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens offers advice and solutions to everyday situations, such as getting groceries if an elderly person’s own support network is unable to help. Tel. 09 816 33 333, Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00. Please help us make sure that elderly people in Espoo are aware of Nestori’s services. You could for example leave the phone number on your building’s noticeboard.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the effects of the coronavirus on the elderly (in Finnish and Swedish)
  • The best way to contact Welfare Services for Families with Children is to use the Get help form at www.espoo.fi/gethelp or call tel. 09 816 23600, Mon–Fri 8:30–15:00. 
  • Social services and food help, tel. 09 816 45000, Mon–Fri 8:00–12:00
  • Disability Services Helpline, tel. 09 816 45285, Mon–Fri at 9–11 and 12–14

Changes to social and health services

We are providing the services that are absolutely necessary – this is why we must reduce non-urgent services. We will contact every client whose appointment needs to be rescheduled. To protect the elderly and other risk groups we are limiting visits to nursing homes, for example. More information: Social and health services during the coronavirus pandemic

Children can return to day care centres as of 14 May

Day care centres and pre-primary education units located within day care centres are open. 

We may combine some units

Some units may have no or very few children at the moment. For this reason, the activities of some units will be transferred to another nearby unit. We will always minimise the risk of infections and ensure that group sizes are small.

As more children return to early childhood education, we will open the units that have been closed and these groups can return to their own premises.

The day care centres will inform the guardians of all these arrangements.

Open early childhood education

All open day care centres and clubs are closed. They will restart their operations as of 13 August.

Residents’ parks (excluding Järvenperä in Espoon keskus) will reopen on 1 June 2020. Parks will be open on weekdays from 8am to 4pm. You must not visit parks when ill.

Outdoors only – take your own outdoor toys with you

Only outdoor facilities are open. Remember to keep the necessary safety distances. This is why activities such as playing in the water or barbecuing are not possible this summer.

The indoor facilities of residents’ parks will remain closed. However, you may use the toilet facilities when needed, but in this case too the safety distance of 2m and good coughing and hand hygiene must be observed.

The toy storages in residents’ parks will remain closed for the time being. So please take your own outdoor toys with you.

No more than 50 people in a park at any one time

The aim is to limit the number of people in the parks to a maximum of 50 persons (children, guardians and staff) at any one time. Gatherings and assemblies must be avoided. The staff will monitor the number of people in the parks, but the responsibility for the safe use of residents’ parks is also with customers.

A red mark at the gate to any residents’ park indicates when the park has temporarily reached its maximum capacity.

Will we receive reimbursement for early childhood education fees?

The City of Espoo will not charge any fees for municipal and outsourced early childhood education during the period between 18 March and 13 May 2020 for those days when the child did not attend early childhood education. If the child is going to be absent, their guardian must inform the early childhood education unit as soon as possible, no later than by 9:00 in the morning of the day of absence. You do not have to provide a reason for the child’s absence during this period. The city will charge a fee if a child is absent without notification.

Starting from 14 May 2020, early childhood education fees will be invoiced as usual.

Temporary changes to the principles concerning the guarantee of an early childhood education place

The principles concerning the guarantee of an early childhood education place have been temporarily changed for the period between 18 March and 13 May 2020. This allows guardians to retroactively interrupt their child’s early childhood education under a guarantee agreement for a minimum of one month starting from 18 March 2020. Guardians can temporarily interrupt their child’s early childhood education, and the City of Espoo will offer these children an opportunity to return to the same day care centre or, if possible, to family day care.

Guardians will need to conclude a written agreement on the care place guarantee with the director of the early childhood education unit. Guardians with a child under 3 years of age can apply for child home care allowance during the guarantee period.

Starting from 14 May 2020, the normal terms and conditions concerning the care place guarantee will apply.

Comprehensive schools will return to contact teaching on 14 May 2020. Upper secondary school students will continue to study from home until the end of the semester.

Contact teaching will continue in schools on 14 May 2020. We will follow the instructions provided by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Ministry of Education and Culture to ensure that the return to contact teaching goes as smoothly as possible. We will pay particular attention to hygiene and cleaning, and safe distances will be observed at school premises.

Pupils placed under home quarantine

The city’s Infectious Disease Unit will contact all guardians whose children are ordered into quarantine. In a quarantine situation, pre-primary education and early childhood education will not be provided for the children who are in quarantine.

Sports, exercise and culture

Swimming pools and indoor sport facilities operated by the City of Espoo will open in June. 

Videos and links encouraging to exercise have been compiled on page espoo.fi/omatoimiliikunta. All exercise courses and groups are on hold. 

Museums and cultural venues in Espoo start reopening gradually from 1st of June onwards. All locations of Espoo City Library are open (limited services). More information about libraries: www.helmet.fi 

Esbo Arbis and Espoo Adult Education Centre have cancelled all courses that are held as contact learning, until further notice. The cancelled sessions will be held at a later date if possible.

Nature House Villa Elfvik is closed. All nature tours organised by the Environment Department have been cancelled until 31 May 2020.

Youth workers are arranging activities and reaching young people in digital environments. For example a digital youth centre was opened in Discord. All Youth Centres will reopen in August. 

The Ohjaamotalo continues counselling in Discord. Service points (Starttipiste) are open again. 

Contact us preferably by phone or chat

The Leppävaara, Espoonlahti and Matinkylä Service Points are closed. All other City of Espoo Service Points will continue to serve customers as usual despite the coronavirus. However, we recommend that all customers postpone their non-urgent errands or contact the Service Points by phone or chat. The general customer service number and the chat window are available at www.espoo.fi/asiointi.

How to run errands from home?

Services for entrepreneurs and companies

Entrepreneur, the business advisors in EnterpriseEspoo are there to help you. Book a meeting with a business advisor and we will be in touch. 

Applications for the operating support for sole entrepreneurs is now open. Read more about the application process

Information kit on services for entrepreneurs and companies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Live events turn into virtual ones

The events and meetings organised by the City of Espoo are cancelled or, if possible, held virtually instead. Official meetings will be held online.

All public events of the City Planning Department have been cancelled until further notice. We will later announce new event dates to replace the cancelled ones.

Good hand hygiene prevents respiratory infections from spreading

The best way to prevent respiratory infections is to take good care of hand and coughing hygiene. Further information about hand hygiene

Up-to-date general information about the coronavirus:

  • Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare: www.thl.fi/koronavirus
  • The national coronavirus hotline provides generic information about the coronavirus, tel. 0295 535 535, Mon–Fri 8:00–21:00 and Sat 9:00–15:00. Text message service for the deaf and hard of hearing, tel. 050 902 0163. General information on the coronavirus is also available from the Government’s chat service. The telephone and chat services do not give any health advice or guidance in the case of symptoms. In these cases, you should call your health centre or the Medical Helpline.

Smartbot to give multilingual coronavirus advice

The City of Espoo is testing a smartbot, or a learning artificial intelligence application, that answers questions in more than a hundred languages on the Espoo.fi website. Its language skills are based on machine translation from English. While it will undoubtedly make some grammatical errors, the goal is to ensure that the key content of its messages is still understandable. News article