The obligation to wear a face mask at city workplaces will mainly be removed from 11 October onwards

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are giving up the use of face masks in tasks where employees work with an established work community or have the opportunity to work in spacious work premises. The face mask obligation for employees continues to apply to situations where customers are advised to wear a face mask or work is performed with members of risk groups. Unvaccinated employees must always wear a face mask when working indoors.

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa have prepared their face mask policy together. Communicable disease and occupational health experts have been consulted as a basis for the policy.
The recommendations on the use of face masks for social and health care staff, visitors and teachers will continue until further notice. The new recommendations for education will be confirmed once the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education have issued a national recommendation.

The face mask obligation for employees applies to situations where:

  • customers are advised to use the mask (e.g., educational institutions, public events).
  • work is performed with customers belonging to risk groups.
  • based on a local hazard assessment, the use of a face mask is considered to be necessary.

The use of a face mask is always recommended for employees working indoors if they do not have full vaccination protection or have not suffered from coronavirus disease within the last six months.

The face mask recommendation applies to all employees, regardless of their vaccination protection, when:

  • the employee travels by public transport during the working day.
  • the employee works indoors where it is difficult to avoid close contact and when working with casual employees or customers. These situations are further defined in different sectors and businesses.
  • the employee participates in indoor public events or similar gatherings with a lot of people close to each other (e.g. training events).

An employee does not have to wear a face mask when they have full vaccination protection or protection provided by a coronavirus illness and

  • when the employee works with an established work community or clientele (e.g. early childhood education, office work).
  • when an employee can maintain a sufficient distance from other employees and customers, even if it is not an established work community or clientele.

Other instructions for employees on using face masks.

  • The employer will provide face masks to those employees and in those workplaces where the employer recommends or obliges the use of a face mask.
  • An employee can choose to use their own face mask, regardless of their job duties.
  • An employee may be released from the obligation to wear a face mask if deemed to be necessary as a result of their state of health.

Divisions and businesses can make their own refinement to the guidelines.

Taking care of health safety remains important

When working in the workplace, it is still important to remember to take care of health safety. This includes maintaining a space distance from others in common areas, taking care of hand hygiene and keeping the premises clean. You may only come to the workplace if you are asymptomatic. In the case of employees belonging to risk groups, occupational health care can assist in ensuring the necessary occupational safety.

More detailed employee instructions on the use of face masks, remote/close working and safe working can be found on the city intranets.

Published: 8.10.2021 
(modified: )