Arriving in Joensuu and Karelia during COVID-19

updated in January 2021

Important to remember:

  • Travel only when you are healthy
  • Before departure, check if your airline requires a negative COVID-19 test!
  • Keep distances, remember hand and coughing hygiene, use hand sanitizer
  • Use face mask when traveling to Finland and travelling to Joensuu
  • Respect the 10-day quarantine (self-isolation) once you have arrived in Joensuu
  • Keep all your important documents (tickets, permits, admission and insurance documents, confir­mation of your lease and address in Joensuu) in your hand luggage when travelling.

The instruc­tions for entering Finland might change, please check the official up-to-date information:

Due to the pandemic, you should be prepared for COVID-19 testing and self-quaran­tining on your arrival in Finland. COVID-19 test at Helsinki airport is free of charge.

At Helsinki airport

Travelling to Joensuu

During pandemic you should avoid using public trans­portation but if you cannot avoid it, you should follow the hygiene and safety instruc­tions at all times. 

Train is the best way to travel to Joensuu from the airport. There are several trains daily from Helsinki to Joensuu (about 440 km north-east from Helsinki).

Commuter trains P and I operate between Helsinki Airport and Helsinki city centre. 

1) Take commuter train P to Tikkurila. (Please note: commuter train I does NOT go via Tikkurila!)
2) Transfer to Intercity or Pendolino train from Tikkurila to Joensuu. (Joensuu is the last destination)

If you are in Helsinki City Centre, take Intercity or Pendolino train from the main railway station directly to Joensuu. 

Where to buy train tickets? 

  • In advance from the VR (Finnish railways) website OR 
    • from the ticket vending machine at the airport or Tikkurila railway station or 
    • from R-kioski at the airport. 

It is not possible to buy a ticket from the conductor at the train. Ticket sales office at Tikkurila railway station is closed for now.

  • Please note that you are entitled to student discounts on Finnish trains and buses only if you have the Finnish student card or a special VR student certificate. 
    • Exchange students: It is not possible for exchange students to get a Finnish student card or temporary student certificate in advance.
  • Long distance busses to Joensuu leave from the Helsinki city centre (Kamppi central bus station) but due to COVID-19, the services are very limited.
    • Onnibus, long distance bus services. 
  • Finnair, inter­na­tional and domestic flights. Due to the pandemic, there are only few flights to/from Joensuu per week.
    • The Joensuu airport is located about 11 km from the Joensuu city centre. There is usually a bus leaving after each flight from the airport to the city centre. Airport info .

Arriving in Joensuu

  • Exchange students: please inform Karelia Inter­na­tional Office and your student tutor about your arrival beforehand.
  • Degree students, please inform your study counsellor too. 
  • If you wish, your tutor will pick up your key and deliver it to you when meeting you – remember to keep the safe distance. If you arrive from a country where self-quaran­tining is recom­mended, please note that you will not be able to pick up the key from the housing office yourself.

Public transport (local buses) in Joensuu  Please note that you should wear a mask when using public transport!

Maps, timetables, fares:


The following instruc­tions are provided for safety reasons. If you don´t need the self-quarantine time, your housing process will follow the normal procedure and the instruc­tions below do not apply to you.

  • Your housing is provided taking the self-quarantine into consid­er­ation. The housing company will give you further instruc­tions,  please make sure you will follow them.
  • You can rent a Survival Pack from the Student Union (limited avail­ability, however!)
  • If you need the Mainte­nance Service, please let them know that you are in self-quarantine.


  • Read the instruc­tions for the 10-day self-quarantine
  • Limit unnec­essary local contacts for 10 days and follow self-quarantine. 
    • Take care of the physical distancing extra carefully. This means keeping enough (approx. 2 meters) space between yourself and other people.
    • During self-quarantine, you are permitted to take care of essential errands, like shop for groceries or for necessary medication, but remember to use face mask. 
  • In order to avoid contacts, you can order groceries online from K-Ruoka or Foodie. These services are unfor­tu­nately available only in Finnish but you can use trans­lation apps like Google Translate or maybe you ask your tutor to help you. For ordering restaurant meals at home, you can use: Wolt: or Foodora:
  • You start your studies online. Coming to Karelia campus premises is permitted after the 10 days of self-quarantine.
  • You can be in touch with Karelia staff during the self-quarantine for example through Teams sessions and emails. However, we recommend you to prepare for this quarantine time beforehand and keep in mind that you´ll have enough reading, watching, and listening with you. 

Any symptoms after your arrival

If you get any flu or stomach flu symptoms after your arrival, remember the safety instruc­tions (avoid meeting anybody, keep the distance, hand and coughing hygiene) and contact the health care services by phone. Do not try and go to make an appointment directly but contact the health care first by phone and follow their instructions.

Updated instruc­tions on COVID-19 in North Karelia
City of Joensuu: coronainfo

You can also complete a symptom assessment at If you meet certain criteria, the Omaolo service will instruct you to call the emergency help support number at 116 117 available 24/7.

Download the Koron­av­ilkku app to your mobile phone

After arriving in Finland, please download the Koron­av­ilkku app to your mobile phone for free. The app notifies you in case you have in contact with and infected person. If you are diagnosed with the infection, you can report it through the app anony­mously. Koron­av­ilkku app is safe to use and it is provided by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL):

Additional links

Coron­avirus situation in the EU:
City of Joensuu website: