The authorities of the Helsinki-Uusimaa region published on Friday new restrictions after warning on Thursday that the epidemic of Covid-19 in the area has entered the phase of community transmission, which is the third and most aggressive scenario foreseen by the national health agency ( THL).
The majority of newly diagnosed cases in Finland are concentrated in the Helsinki region. The coordination group against the epidemic in the area is especially concerned about the development in the three major population centers of the capital region, Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo, as well as in other smaller municipalities such as Kaunianien.
On Friday, the city of Helsinki said the number coronavirus cases increased "alarmingly in recent days". And the mayor Jan Vapaavuori headed a press conference to inform about the new health recommendations and restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. These new measures will take effect from Monday 23 November.
Amateur sports for adults
Starting on Monday, 23 November, all city-run indoor team sports and contact sport activities for people over the age of 20 will be temporarily suspended for three weeks.
Amateur-level matches, competitions and regional play-offs will also be cancelled during this time. Private operators are asked to observe these same restrictions. It is also recommended that all leisure clubs for adults in the metropolitan area limit their activities to things that take place within their own groups.
This decision does not apply to individual and group national team activities, competition activities at the Finnish Championship level and Division I level, and professional training for international competitions.
Public and private events
The maximum number of people for indoor public events (concerts, theatre performances, sports events with public...) should be limited to 20 during the next three weeks.
Regarding private events, the coronavirus coordination group recommends that no private events for more than 10 people be held for the time being. This restriction is specifically directed to autumn student graduation parties, family gatherings and Christmas events.
Events with more than 20 people can still be held outdoors, provided that participants comply with the general safety recommendations.
Swimming pools, libraries
In the case of public spaces, in addition to the restrictions previously imposed, the number of visitors to swimming pools will be halved and half of the changing rooms will be closed.
In addition, the number of study hall places in libraries will be reduced for the time being.
Face masks at work, education
The coordination group recommends the use of face masks at work in all of their encounters with others and when moving about their workplace, both in the private and public sectors.
A mask recommendation has also been issued for the area’s lower secondary schools (grades 7-9). The cities will provide masks for this purpose, but students are also free to use their own if they wish.
Early childhood education staff are also recommended to wear a face mask indoors. This is especially recommended for those who travel to different places while at work, for example, daycare assistants, replacements, directors, trainees and interns.
Upper secondary schools
There will also be an increase in the use of staggered distance learning intervals at upper secondary schools (grades 10-12) in the metropolitan area for the time being.