Arriving in Joensuu and Karelia during COVID-19

updated 22.12.2021

Important to remember:

  • Travel only when you are healthy. Before departure, check if your airline requires a negative COVID-19 test!
  • Register at Finentry service to get person­alised advise and appointment for free test after your trip (if necessary).
  • Get a full series of COVID-19 vacci­na­tions in your home country, if possible. Check the website of the Finnish border guard and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare for further advice, regula­tions and list of approved vaccines!
    • As of 21 Dec 2021, a negative covid-19 test result less than 48 hours old, is a condition for entry to Finland from outside EU/Schengen area. From 28 Dec to 16 Jan, this is required also from those coming from EU/Schengen area! Both PCR and Antigen tests are accepted.
  • Keep all your important documents in your hand luggage when travelling: tickets, permits, admission and insurance documents, confir­mation of your lease and address in Joensuu, vacci­nation and/or covid-19 certificates
  • Keep distances, remember hand and coughing hygiene, use hand sanitizer, use face mask when travelling

The instruc­tions for entering Finland keep changing. Please check the official up-to-date information:

At Helsinki airport

Travelling to Joensuu

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 VR Matkalla App OR
    • from the ticket vending machine at the airport or Tikkurila railway station or 
    • from R-kioski at the airport or Tikkurila railway station 

Buying online some weeks before the trip is the cheapest option. It is not possible to buy a ticket from the conductor on the train. 

  • 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 quite limited.
    • Onnibus, long distance bus services. 
  • Flights between Helsinki and Joensuu: Swedish airline Amapola operates the service. Timetables and tickets can be booked at
    • 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 (arrival form link sent to you!) 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. 

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

Maps, timetables, fares:

Self-quarantine / voluntary distancing

  • Instruc­tions for voluntary distancing
  • Applicable for those who are advised to take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after arriving in Finland. 
  • Continue voluntary distancing until you get a negative result of your covid-19 test! 
  • You are not allowed to come to Karelia campus during self-quarantine.
  • 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 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

Karelia’s coron­ainfo:
Coron­avirus situation in the EU:
City of Joensuu website: