The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group:

Staggered opening of services as of 17 May 2021

In its meeting on Tuesday 11 May 2021, the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group decided that, due to the development of the epidemic, some services in the area can be opened in a staggered and limited manner as of 17 May 2021. The coordination group’s decision is in line with the ‘children and young people first’ principle. Furthermore, outdoor activities will be made available before indoor activities, and special attention will be paid to elderly people and those with limited functional capacity. The coordination group’s decision is based on an epidemiological assessment and overall consideration of the development of the coronavirus situation.

Starting from 17 May 2021, outdoor competitive activities related to the hobbies of children and young people will be made available to a limited extent to those born in 2001 and later. The health security instructions applicable to recreational activities must be observed in the context of these activities. The Regional State Administrative Agency’s decisions on public event attendance apply to competition audiences.

In addition to day camps for children and young people, overnight camp activities will be enabled to a limited degree as of 17 May 2021. The health security instructions applicable to recreational activities must be observed in the context of these activities.

Swimming halls will be opened to a limited extent to those born in 1955 and earlier as of 17 May 2021. The activities will adhere to effective official instructions and guidelines as well as the measures necessitated by Sections 58(c) and (d) of the Communicable Diseases Act.

Outdoor hobby activities for adults will be enabled to a limited extent as of 17 May 2021. Areas governed by the Metropolitan Area 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.

Private events are recommended to be restricted to a maximum participant number of six for the time being. The previous recommendation was to avoid organising any private events at all.

The graduation ceremonies of upper secondary schools will be organised in person for the students. However, no audience will be admitted to the events, which will be streamed online for home viewing. The ceremonies will be organised in accordance with the health security principles applicable to contact teaching. The available space will determine the maximum number of students for each ceremony. Graduation parties organised at home or on other private premises during the spring and summer should primarily be held outdoors in accordance with effective recommendations on private event attendance and other guidelines regarding the safe arrangement of events.

The coordination group will continue to prepare the lifting of the restrictions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and will make the necessary decisions in its subsequent meetings. Next week’s meeting will focus particularly on the situation of libraries and museums. A precondition for lifting the restrictions is that the epidemic situation in the region continues to develop well.

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. The decision on the restriction was 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. The decision on the restriction was made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.

Organising private events

Private events are recommended to be restricted to a maximum participant number of six.

The recommendation will remain valid until further notice.

Public premises

Public customer spaces will remain closed with the exception of the guided recreational activity time slots and youth facilities reserved for children and young people born in 2001 and later. Some swimming halls are open to those with a special swimming card. As of 17 May 2021, swimming halls will also be available to persons born in 1955 and earlier. Limited services are available at libraries. All city-owned cultural facilities, museums, exhibition spaces and similar premises will remain closed. Contact teaching at adult education centres has 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 and later.

Outdoor hobby activities for adults will be available to a limited extent as of 17 May 2021.

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: 11.5.2021 
(muokattu: )

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