The situation within the South Karelia Social and Health Care District (Eksote)


  • ​​​​The regional readiness level is good.
  • The regional COVID-19 situation assessment workgroup of South Karelia stated at its meeting on 12 January 2021 that the epidemic is still in the acceleration phase in South Karelia. The three stages of an epidemic are the baseline, acceleration, and spreading phases.
  • The restriction issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency, based on which gatherings must be limited to 20 people and which is applied to all indoor and outdoor events, including leisure time activities, is still valid. The regional situation assessment workgroup previously issued a restriction that limits private gatherings to 10 people.
  • The situation assessment workgroup hopes that the residents will follow the instructions provided on the prevention of the coronavirus epidemic carefully in South Karelia. ​​
  • The current recommendations and restrictions must be complied with strictly to ensure that South Karelia remains in the acceleration phase in the coming weeks (​12 January 2021)

  • Instructions for persons who have been ordered to quarantine or isolate in their own home_181220.pdf

  • At the moment, face masks are not very widely used in the region. However, attention must be paid to their use, especially when moving in shops and shopping centres, in connection to indoor activities and other leisure time activities, on public transport, and at private celebrations (e.g. weddings, large birthday gatherings, and graduations).
  • Putting on a mask​ (Turku)​
  • See below for more information on the baseline level mask recommendation.
  • Situation elsewhere in Finland: THL / Alueiden tilanne: rajoitukset ja suositukset 
  • Voluntary quarantine is not a punishment

    The workgroup stresses the importance of voluntary quarantine when travelling abroad. At the present time, travelling abroad is not recommended. In THL's traffic light model, e.g. Russia is in the grey category. Persons who travel in a country that is red or grey in the traffic light model must stay in voluntary quarantine for ten days every time they return to Finland. Voluntary quarantine is not a punishment for crossing the border, but a measure that aims to protect the population against the spread of the coronavirus disease.

    – In Finland, voluntary quarantine is not supervised, but everyone must do their share to fight the pandemic, says the Chair of the workgroup Tuula Karhula.

    In voluntary quarantine, you should stay at home and not go e.g. to your workplace, school, or other place of study. This protects others from infection.

    It is recommended that children who are in voluntary quarantine do not participate in early childhood education. School-aged children and young people should also stay at home. Any special arrangements must be agreed upon with the education organiser. The practices to be followed at work for ten days following the return of an employee to Finland must be agreed upon with the employer.

    Voluntary quarantine can be shortened if the person receives two negative COVID-19 test results. Please visit the THL website for further information:​​

The remote teaching recommendation of secondary education will continue in South Karelia, caution and compliance with recommendations is requested as regards travelling (7​ January 2021)​​

Local residents have received the recommendations of the acceleration phase well – one fourth of last week’s confirmed Covid-19 cases were traced to the workplace (14 December 2020​​)

031220 South Karelia is in the acceleration phase – new visiting instructions for Eksote’s units.pdf (071220.pdf )
011220 A strong face mask recommendation for the South Karelia region.pdf
The valid recommendations in South Karelia on 19 November 2020.pdf
The valid recommendations in South Karelia on 12 November 2020.pdf
The valid recommendations in South Karelia on 23 October 2020.pdf ​

The valid recommendations in South Karelia

General recommendations that apply to everyone

  • If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, stay at home and follow Eksote's operating instructions. Children under school age can stay at home. School-aged children and adults must take a coronavirus test, even when their symptoms are minor.
  • Persons with infection symptoms must not participate in early childhood education, go to school or the workplace, nor move in public areas. Going to events when sick or when having even minor symptoms is absolutely forbidden.
  • Good hand and coughing hygiene must be followed at all times.
  • The recommendation to wear a face mask at public meetings, events, and tournament type sports events will remain valid until the end of 2020. 
Please consider participation in events carefully​

On 1 December 2020, the situation assessment workgroup decided to issue the following recommendations that will remain valid from 3 December 2020 to 31 January 2021. These recommendations were supplemented on 3 December 2020 and 29 December 2020, and their validity was extended to the end of January 2021. The recommendations will be applied to the authorities, the general public, business operators, and education organisers:​

Private events:

Private events must have a maximum of 10 participants.

Education organisers:

It is recommended that secondary education shifts to remote learning starting on 7 December 2020, except for any contact teaching that is considered to be necessary by the organiser of the education. It is recommended that remote teaching be continued, at least, until 31 January 2021.

Early education and basic education will be continued as before.

The mask recommendation applies to all persons aged 12 or over, and to all school transportation.

A mask recommendation will be given to education organisers, also in school transportation. The education organiser must provide masks for children and young adults whose school transportation is their responsibility. Children and young adults who come to school by using public transport must acquire the masks themselves.

Public premises:

Events of the libraries will be cancelled and it is recommended that social premises, such as newspaper reading rooms, be closed. Book lending and returning activities will continue. The customers are requested to stay in the library premises only for the period of time that is necessary and to favour advance reservations. Wearing a mask in the library premises is strongly recommended.

The number of customers in museums and youth premises is limited to 20. It is recommended that youth activities be partly moved online, but youth premises can be kept open at the discretion of each municipality, when the prohibition of gatherings of over 20 persons is observed.

Group activities:

It is recommended that indoor and outdoor group activities for people over 20 years of age be interrupted in team and contact sports. 

Indoor and outdoor group activities for children and young people can be continued subject to careful consideration, when the prohibition of gatherings of over 20 persons is observed. Risks typical of the type of sports must be observed in group activities. If leisure time activities are not disrupted, the instructions of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, based on which it must be possible to avoid close contact between the participants and the persons bringing the children to the location, must be observed. 

To secure the training of professional and competitive athletes, training can be continued if it is safe and it is possible to comply with the gathering restrictions and the instructions provided on gatherings. The maximum number of spectators in a separate auditorium is 20, but only if it can be ensured that the spectators and the athletes do not come into contact with each other. The maximum number of athletes that can be present simultaneously is 20.


Travelling between Finland and Russia must be avoided. 

It is recommended that all travelling to areas that are in the spreading phase be avoided. In particular, travelling should be avoided to areas where the coronavirus situation is worse than in South Karelia. Travelling to ski centres in the North of Finland and abroad should also be avoided. 

Remot​e working:

It is recommended that all employers in South Karelia organise remote working in all work tasks that can be completed remotely, even temporarily. If remote working is not an option, it is recommended that the employer advices the employees to use a face mask in all work premises, even when safe distances can be maintained. Meals and coffee breaks must be staggered. Work and business trips and contact teaching events are not recommended.

Mask recommendation:

The mask recommendation is valid in public transport, including school transport and taxi drivers and customers.

In other respects, the mask recommendation of the acceleration phase is applied to all persons aged 12 and over, in accordance with THL’s instructions:

• Persons who are to be tested for coronavirus when on the way to the testing location and before the result is known, if they must leave home for a necessary reason.

• Passengers arriving to Finland from a high-risk area, when they move from the point of arrival to quarantine or if they must leave home for a necessary reason.

• In primary education from the sixth form onwards, in secondary education (including upper secondary schools), and in higher education institutions.

•  In all work communities, and indoor leisure time activities and voluntary work, when there are several people operating and present in the same premises.

• In public indoor premises and public events (Stores and shopping centres, post offices, banks, libraries, and other similar indoor premises / Premises used for sports and exercising and related auditoriums (at the very minimum, common premises and dressing rooms) / Swimming pools, spas, and saunas / Concert halls and other premises used for performing live music / Cinemas and other premises used for the showing of movies and other similar audio-visual works / Museums and galleries / Amusement and theme parks and tourist attractions, if they include indoor premises / Premises used for gambling and betting).

Customer service points must be equipped with plexiglass shields. Employers must provide masks or protective face shields for customer service workers who work less than 1.5 metres from other people.


The organisation of events is not recommended. During the acceleration phase, events of the maximum of 20 people can be organised if it is possible to comply with the instructions provided by THL and the Ministry of Education and Culture on safe distances and hygiene practices precisely and in all respects. ​​

The situation in the rest of Finland and the valid restrictions and recommendations of other hospital districts can be found on the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare website under Regional situation.

​How to act if you suspect to have Covid 19 –virus? 

​​​If you suspect to have corona virus, you can make a sympton estimate inquiry in Omaolo-service on this link:

With the help of the inquiry, you will get a fast estimate of the need of possible treatment or a peace of mind, if your concern comes out to be unnecessary. The symptom estimate inquiry works only in Finnish language at the moment. 

When life is in danger, call 112 .

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 infection, ​

Call first the emergency support number at 116 117 for possible Covid 19 –testing. The personnel of the emergency duty will estimate on the phone if you need to go to Covid-19 –test. The test is intended to be taken within 1-2 days of the onset of symptoms. Eksote currently has the opportunity to test all persons with typical symptoms of the coronavirus.

The Coronavirus symptoms include e.g. 
  • a cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches and headache or
  • diarrhoea / nausea (for no other obvious reason)

The best treatment for the respiratery infection is usually rest. Furthermore you can try steam breathing and fever- and pain-releiving medicines. 

If you suspect to have corona infection or influenza, stay home at least one more day after all symptoms are gone.

Avoid virus infec​tions – minimize moving around and avoid contacts with others

It is possible to avoid virus infections by careful hand hygiene and by coughing to arm sleeve or paper tissue. Throw used tissues straight to the garbage. DON´T cough to your hands. 

Wash your hands always with soap and rinse your hands min. 20 seconds when…
come in from outside
before cooking and eating
after toilet and after changing a diaper
after blown your nose, coughed or sneezed
after have touched same surfaces as a person with a flu

Whe​​re to get information and discussion help?

National help desk tel. 0295 535 535, Mon –Fri at 8 - 21, sat 9 - 15 

From the help desk you can have general information on the corona virus. The help desk will not provide any health or emergency counselling.

If corona virus causes any fear or anxiety and you feel to need discussion help to mental wellbeing , you can call to Eksote´s mental health help desk tel. 05 352 4610 (open 24/7) or to social- and crisis help desk tel. 040 651 1828 (open 24/7). 

Mielenterveysseura crisis help desk tel. 09 2525 0111 in Finnish language, open 24/7.

Mielenterveysseura crisis help desk tel. 09 2525 0113 in English language open:
Mondays and Tuesdays at 11.00 - 15.00, Wednesdays at 13.00 - 16.00 and 17.00 - 21.00 
and Thursdays at 10.00 - 15.00. Here you can get service also in Arabic.

Other se​rvices provided by Eksote

Eksote has reduced non-urgent help in all health care- and social services areas. 

Social- and health care services will primarily be contacted by phone.

Eksote reminds that it is not allowed to go to any appointment or reception, if you feel to have any signs of flu of symptoms of infection.  

Need​​ any help for food or medicine shopping?

If you are in quarantine and unable to go shopping food or medicines, ask first help from your relatives and friends. If you can´t get help from them, you can ask advice from Eksote tel. 040 1​39 0366 (Finni​sh language).  Service in English and Russian languages: tel. 05 667 788 or 040 667 1755.