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Help prevent the spread of coronavirus: Wear a face mask

Woman and man wearing a face mask at metro station in Vuosaari.

Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa recommend wearing masks when using municipal services

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa recommend that everyone over the age of 15 start using face masks in municipal service situations in which it is difficult to avoid close contact. Intended primarily for libraries, indoor sports and fitness centres, museums, customer service points and upper secondary schools, the recommendation will take effect on 1 October 2020, although residents are encouraged to start using the masks immediately.

Helsinki distributes free masks to people in need

On Friday, 21 August, the City of Helsinki started handing out face masks to low-income residents at several open distribution points in city, parish and charity-administered locations. A list of distribution points is available on the city website.

The Finnish health authority recently recommended that people in most areas of Finland use masks in situations where it is difficult to avoid close contact with others, for example, on public transport. The Finnish government has mandated that municipalities must make cost-free face masks available to low-income residents accordingly.

The City of Helsinki began distributing free masks already on 19 August to people visiting customers of healthcare and social service locations in the city. Now this distribution has been expanded to several new locations, in collaboration with food aid service points and parish, NGO and third sector operations.

The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) recommendation applies to everyone over the age of 15, and so the distribution of face masks applies to this same demographic.

Face mask distribution points in Helsinki

23 September: Töölö Library and the Martha Organisation to organise face mask workshops

An up-to-date list of Helsinki distribution points and schedules can be found on the City of Helsinki’s website.

In principle, Helsinki residents are themselves responsible for using the masks as recommended. This includes purchasing the appropriate masks and other attending costs. However, no one’s financial situation should present an obstacle to complying with the recommendation. The distribution of free masks in Helsinki is based on trust; staff at the distribution points will not ask anyone for proof of their need.

The City of Helsinki is distributing free masks in cooperation with Helsinki parishes and the Finnish Red Cross. Several other charity organisations, such as the Myllypuro food distribution service and the Hursti Charitable Trust, are assisting with the effort.

Press release in russia, somali and arabic

بدأت هلسنكي توزع كماماتللوجه مخصصة لمنخفضي الدخل

Remember to use face masks carefully

THL recommends the use of face masks on public transport and in all situations in which close contact cannot be avoided. In addition, people in transit to and from a covid-19 test and those waiting for test results should use a mask in public, as should travellers arriving in Finland from an area still subject to border controls.

It is important to use face masks correctly, to avoid the spread of infection. Please check the THL website for instructions and a checklist for mask use.

Recommendation for citizens regarding the use of face masks (.pdf)

The coordination group’s new decisions extend the recommendation even further to all workplace situations, especially those in which wider groups of employees meet, such as meetings, coffee breaks, and gatherings in common areas. This extended recommendation also applies to situations in which it is difficult to avoid close contact or enforce recommended hygiene and safety precautions.

The group also recommends that parents and guardians use a mask when visiting early childhood education facilities, i.e., when they drop off and pick up their children from daycare and pre-primary education.

Wear a mask on public transport

HSL and the City of Helsinki recommends wearing a face mask on public transport. Passenger numbers are expected to increase in the autumn and it is not always possible to keep a distance of 1-2 meters from other passengers. We still recommend travelling outside the busiest times, where possible.

Customers are asked to distance themselves from other passengers at stations, stops and when onboard the vehicles. If there are seats available, sit rather than stand, but avoid sitting next to other people. If a vehicle is full, please wait for the next one.

Good hand hygiene is also being encouraged. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available at several Metro station and the Helsinki Central Railway Station. See the HSL website for more detailed safety tips and instructions. 

Recommendation: Wear a mask on public transport in different languages

19.10.2020 10:23