More and stricter restrictions are coming for the citizens of the Uusimaa region, the most affected by the second wave of the coronavirus in Finland.
Concerned, after a weekend in which more than 1,100 infections and 9 deaths were reported throughout the country, the municipal authorities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the three largest cities of the metropolitan area, announced on Tuesday that they are preparing new measures to try curb the epidemic.
Difficult days are approaching, judging by their words, with many municipal premises closed, bans on public events and thousands of older school children returning to remote learning.
In a press conference led by the mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori, the local authorities explained that the closure of municipal facilities, such as swimming pools, libraries and ice skating rinks, is being prepared.
The reason, according to Vapaavuori, is that "currently we are not doing enough to prevent infections, so stronger action is needed" in order to reduce contacts between people and increase social distancing.
In this sense, the mayor of the capital city said that children in secondary education will have to switch to distance education. Primary schools, preschools and kindergartens may remain open by now.
Community transmission phase
The new restrictions and guidelines come just days after the capital region's coordination group against the coronavirus said that the area entered the stage of community transmission. This is the highest alert scenario of the three foreseen by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) when it designed its national strategy against the coronavirus.
According to the websites of the city of Helsinki and the Helsinki-Uusimaa hospital catchment area (HUS), the coordination group will discuss the new measures on Thursday 26 November. More information will be issued on when they will come into force on Friday 27.
The new policies will be in addition to the series of recommendations and restrictions released on 23 November.