Schools and daycare
Daycare centres open, pre-primary education for six year olds begins as normal
Daycare and pre-primary education operations continue normally in Helsinki, with due regard for the necessary safety measures. Parents and guardians of children in daycare and pre-primary education are asked to wear masks when they pick up and drop off their children and limit the time they spend indoors.
Daycare centre staff are encouraged to wear masks indoors whenever possible. Early childhood education employees who travel to several locations in their work, for example, daycare assistants, replacements, directors, trainees and interns, are in particular asked to observe this mask recommendation.
Helsinki schools start term in classrooms
The Metropolitan Area coronavirus cooperation group decided on 3 August 2021 that area schools will begin their instruction this autumn in the classroom. This decision applies to both comprehensive schools (grades 1-9) and upper secondary education facilities in the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo.
Health safety measures will be strictly observed in the provision of contact teaching, utilising best practices learned in the spring. Arrangements will be made in the schools to ensure safe distances and limit close contact. Good hand and respiratory hygiene will also be emphasized.
Upper secondary education students, lower secondary schools students (grades 7-9) and students in the sixth grade are asked to wear a face mask while attending school. The cities will provide masks for this purpose, but students are also free to use their own.
Education Helpline can answer questions
The City of Helsinki runs an Education Helpline to answer questions about schools, students and study arrangements. Service is available in Finnish and English. Ring tel. 09 310 10025 Monday-Friday 9-17.
Hybrid teaching alternatives possible, if necessary
On 10 August 2020, Helsinki's City Board decided to allow exceptional teaching arrangements, if it proves necessary to ensure the safe use of basic education facilities run by the city. If a worsening coronavirus situation prompts the introduction of hybrid teaching, teaching will nevertheless continue in classrooms for children in grades 1-3 and students with special needs. Normal face-to-face classroom instruction will also continue for students attending preparatory education or extended compulsory education.
The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group is continuously monitoring the epidemic situation. If necessary, the group is prepared to re-evaluate its decisions as the situation changes.
Helsinki shares guidelines for coronavirus testing of children
The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) has issued guidelines about what to do if a child becomes ill with a respiratory tract infection. Among other things, the guidelines explain how to book a coronavirus test for a child and when it is okay for children to return to schools and daycares.
The City of Helsinki adheres to these THL instructions and has informed parents and guardians of Helsinki students of them. The guidelines for coronavirus testing of children can be found at the THL website.