The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group:

Recommendation to change the personal limits for public events

At its meeting on Thursday 20 May 2021, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommended that the Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency continue its decision to ban all indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings for a limited period of time, however, that from 1 June 2021 onwards a maximum of 10 people may be allowed indoors and a maximum of 50 people outdoors, in so far as instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on 21 September 2020 are followed. The guidelines require, among other things, that the number of people at events be limited so that a safe distance of least two meters between people and groups can be maintained.

For outdoor spaces, the spaces could be separated into blocks of up to 50 people. The coordination group recommends that the decision remains in force until 30 June 2021. The decision may be changed if the epidemic situation develops for the worse. With regard to private events, the coordination group recommends that these comply with the decision made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland regarding public events.

The coronavirus coordination group also recommends that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland continues their decision to maintain the actual distance in public premises on the basis of temporary section 58 d of the Communicable Diseases Act from 1 June 2021 until 30 June 2021.

The coordination group will continue to prepare for the lifting of the restrictions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The coordination group outlined today that the limited and gradual opening of municipal customer service facilities will be outlined at a meeting next week. The aim is to open service facilities from the beginning of June onwards, provided that the epidemic situation develops favourably and, at least, does not worsen. Services to be discussed next week include, in particular, cultural and leisure facilities, such as museums, exhibitions, culture centres, libraries, swimming pools and outdoor swimming pools. 

The coordination group’s decision is based on an epidemiological assessment and overall consideration of the development of the coronavirus situation and the instructions can be changed quickly if the situation so requires.

The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland will announce its decisions separately next week.

Earlier restrictions and recommendations by the coronavirus coordination group

The earlier restrictions and recommendations of the coronavirus coordination group will remain in effect until further notice. The decisions were made based on the prevalent epidemiological situation and overall assessment. In addition to the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the City of Kauniainen will also adhere to the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.

Enabling actual distancing at public premises, temporary section 58(d) of Communicable Diseases Act

Private and public operators are obliged to arrange the use of premises that are open to the public or intended for a limited group of customers or participants in such a way that the customers, activity participants and groups can feasibly avoid close contact. The decision applies to a wide range of private and public customer premises, with the exclusion of restaurants. If it is impossible to avoid contact, the customer premises can be completely closed by decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency or the municipality.

The restriction will be valid until 31 May 2021. Decisions on the extension of the restriction will be made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.

Organising public events

All public events and meetings held indoors or outdoors have been prohibited for a limited time. However, organising public events and meetings of a maximum of six participants will be allowed, provided that safety can be ensured based on the instructions given by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on 21 September 2020. For events of up to six people, only those that are absolutely necessary should be organised, and even in these cases, remote connections should be used whenever possible.

These restrictions will remain in effect until 31 May 2021. Decisions on the extension of the restriction will be made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.

Organising private events

It is recommended that private events be limited to a maximum of six people.

The recommendation will be valid until 31 May 2021 and will be reviewed again next week.

Public premises

All public customer facilities, with the exception of guided recreational activity time slots and youth facilities for children and young people born in 2001 and later, will remain closed. Some swimming halls are open to those with a special swimming card, as well as persons born in 1955 and earlier. Limited services are available at libraries. For example, all cultural centres, museums and exhibition spaces in the cities will remain closed. The operations of adult education centres have been suspended.

The recommendations will remain in effect until further notice.

Recreational activities

The indoor and outdoor premises of the cities can be used for guided recreational activities of children and young people born in 2001 or later.

Outdoor hobby activities for adults are possible on a restricted basis.

Premises and areas of the cities require compliance with separate health security instructions, which entails organisers being required to provide a health security plan, for example. The coronavirus coordination group recommends all operators to adhere to the same instructions.

The recommendations will remain in effect until further notice.

Remote work

The coordination group still recommends employers to arrange all tasks remotely wherever possible, even temporarily. If remote work is impossible, the employer is recommended to instruct the employees to use face masks in all workspaces, even where it is possible to maintain safe distances. Workplace meals and coffee breaks must be staggered.

The recommendation will remain valid until further notice.

Face mask usage

Face mask usage is recommended for all persons above the age of 12 in all indoor spaces outside their home.

The recommendation will remain valid until further notice.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group prepares local decision-making

The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland established the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group on 10 September 2020. In line with a regional operating model devised by Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the group aims to strengthen the formation of a common situational assessment and to coordinate and prepare local and regional measures.

The group consists of top management from each member organisation and is responsible for the preparation and coordination of decision-making based on a shared assessment of the situation. Each member makes decisions independently, within its own sphere of authority. The group further intensifies the close metropolitan area collaboration that has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The City of Helsinki is responsible for organising the group’s operations.

In addition to the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the City of Kauniainen will also adhere to the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.

Julkaistu: 20.5.2021 
(muokattu: )

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