Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends lifting public events restrictions as of February 14

Release

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends to the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland that it lifts the current restrictions on public events in the metropolitan area as of 14 February, if the development of the loads placed on hospitals continues to be favourable. The epidemic situation in the metropolitan area has steadily improved and the number of infections is declining. However, the virus is still prevalent in the population. The importance of responsible individual behaviour will be further emphasized as restrictions are lifted.

People with masks on.

In the metropolitan area, the peak of the waves of infections caused by the omicron variant has passed. Infection rates have been steadily declining in recent weeks, but the virus is still prevalent in the population at a much higher rate than before. Based on the current epidemiological assessment, the downward trend will continue over the coming weeks and a sudden increase in the loads placed on hospital care can be considered to be unlikely in the short term.  

The coronavirus coordination group considers that restrictions on the use of premises (Section 58d of the Communicable Diseases Act) are still necessary in accordance with the current decision. Operators should, therefore, continue to prevent the risk of infection from close contacts in their premises through a variety of means, so that a need to return to stricter restrictions can be avoided.  

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends that the use of a face mask be required after 14 February for indoor organised events and on public transport.  
 
As restrictions are widely removed, it is even more important that people act responsibly and take health security measures into account in their daily lives and encounters. It is still important to follow the extensive face mask recommendation, to stay at home even with mild symptoms of coronavirus, and to maintain good hand and coughing hygiene. As restrictions are lifted, people's own responsible actions can best prevent the disease from worsening again. 

The loads placed on hospitals remains high and the virus is still prevalent within the population. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group assesses the development of the situation on a weekly basis and is ready to take new measures, if necessary, in the light of the development of the disease situation.  

The extensive face mask recommendation is valid in the metropolitan area for the time being and the remote work recommendation is valid for at least February. 

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 also follows the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.