Effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the Emergency Powers Act


Attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus include many exceptional means. Follow the communications of the authorities, the University and us actively, and follow the instructions.


Due to the coronavirus, Finland is preparing to implement the Emergency Powers Act, as the government announced in its press conference on 16 March. This includes closing the universities and suspending contact teaching. In addition to this, all public gatherings of over ten people are banned. All measures decided by the Finnish government can be found here.

This article describes how the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of the Emergency Powers Act affect students of the University of Helsinki and HYY’s members.


Effects on the University and studies

The University’s facilities are closed on 18 March–13 April 2020.

By default, all teaching and studying is organised remotely. More detailed practical instructions are provided by the faculties, degree programmes and teachers.

The transition period related to degree reforms is extended. You can graduate according to the old degree requirements until 18 December 2020.

Employers are responsible for organising internships. Internships may also be moved or cancelled.

Further information is available on the University’s website.


Services Office closes

The Services Office is closed on 17 March–3 May. If you need a year tag or an access pass, for instance, please contact us by sending email to info@hyy.fi or toimisto@hyy.fi. We will respond to messages during normal working hours. In special cases, it will be possible to arrange a meeting at the Services Office within 1–2 days from contact in order to attend to urgent matters.



The majority of UniCafe’s restaurants will be closed. There may also be further changes to the opening hours. The restaurants listed below are open until Friday 20 March as follows:

  • Kaivopiha: 10.30 am–5.00 pm, closed on Saturday
  • Serpens: 7.30 am–2.30 pm, lunch at 10.45 am–1.30 pm
  • Porthania: 8.30 am–2.00 pm, lunch at 10.30 am–2.00 pm
  • Chemicum: 8.00 am–2.00 pm, lunch at 11.00 am–2.00 pm
  • Biokeskus: 7.45 am–2.00 pm, lunch at 10.30 am–2.00 pm
  • Olivia: 8.30 am–2.00 pm, lunch at 10.30 am–2.00 pm
  • Meilahti: 8.00 am–2.30 pm, lunch at 10.30 am–2.00 pm

Due to the exceptional situation, it will be possible to buy takeaway meals from the restaurants at student prices. Further information and up-to-date opening hours are available on UniCafe’s website.


Instructions for organisations

All HYY’s festive, sauna and meeting premises meant for organisational use will be closed until further notice. Alina Hall and attic sauna Sivistys as well as meeting rooms Wilhelmsson, Seppele, Kabinetti and Barrikaadi will not be available for organisations to reserve or use. No fees will be collected for any cancelled reservations.

More up-to-date instructions for HYY’s organisations are available here.



All UniSport’s sports centres are closed until 13 April 2020. Further information is available on UniSport’s website.



We recommend that students who are currently abroad return to Finland. When returning to Finland from abroad, you must be in voluntary quarantine for 14 days.


Kela and student aid

The coronavirus may cause delays in your studies. Kela is planning to take this into account in its own operations, but the required decisions have not been made yet. Further information is available on Kela’s website.


Little HYY

Our childcare service is closed on 18 March–13 April as the University’s facilities are closed.


Discussion support for anxiety caused by the coronavirus

The spread of the coronavirus may cause anxiety and fear. Several organisations are providing support for students.


HYY’s events

All of HYY’s events before 31 May have been cancelled. We are looking into alternative ways of organising events that are important to students, such as May Day. The events and meetings of committees have also been cancelled. We will provide more information on this later.


Tutor training

We will look into what kinds of exceptional arrangements are required to organise tutor training. However, all tutors will receive the training they need for the autumn. We will provide more information on this later.


Representative Council

The Representative Council’s meeting on 18 March has been cancelled. We will strive to organise a new meeting using a remote connection as soon as possible. Further information on this will be provided directly to the Representative Council groups.


Further information about the coronavirus:

Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki, the effects of the coronavirus on your studies

Current information on the coronavirus from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Current information on the coronavirus from the FSHS

Live updates from Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish)

Live updates from Yle Uutiset (in Finnish)


Further information:

Aaro Riitakorpi

Secretary general
040 0816 426