HUS rolls out free Covid test certificates

The English-language confirmation of a negative test result can be printed out or downloaded to a mobile phone.

File photo of a coronavirus drive-in test centre in Pasila, Helsinki. Image: Jorge Gonzalez / Yle

Helsinki University Hospital District (HUS) has launched the (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (external link) service allowing patients to download an English-language, free-of-charge certificate confirming a negative coronavirus test, the district announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Lasse Lehtonen, Director of Diagnostics Services at HUS, wrote in the release that certificates of negative test results have been increasingly in demand as several countries and travel operators have started to ask for them.

Ferry operators now require passengers arriving from abroad to provide either a certificate proving a negative coronavirus test or a medical certificate confirming recovery from the infection. This new measure, effective from Tuesday 23 February, applies to passengers over the age of 12 as well as to Finnish citizens arriving into the country.

No certificate is required for cruise ship passengers who do not disembark.

The negative coronavirus test result must be taken no earlier than 72 hours before the start of the voyage to be valid for boarding.

Passport details added, if needed

The coronavirus test certificate provided by HUS contains personal patient data as well as the test date and the testing method. If necessary, passport information may also be added to the certificate if required by the country of destination.

"The automated process reduces the pressure on healthcare staff if the certificate is available as a self-service option," Lehtonen said.

Until now, HUS patients have not been able to receive an official certificate of a negative test result via the hospital district’s 'coronabot' service, unless requested separately. Passengers have even been prevented from boarding flights at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport due to lacking the necessary documentation, as Yle reported at the beginning of January.

Accessing the online service requires authentication with bank details or via a mobile phone. The service provides certificates for negative coronavirus tests analysed by the HUS Diagnostics Centre for residents of Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso.

The option to obtain a certificate on behalf of another person, such as a child, will be made available at a later date.

The service has been launched in Finnish, but will later be available in both Swedish and English, HUS added.