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Help prevent the spread of coronavirus: Wear a face mask

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends that everyone who is not working remotely use face masks at work in all of their encounters with others and when moving about their workplace. This recommendation applies to jobs in both the public and private sector.

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.

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.

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 12 start using face masks in municipal service situations in which it is difficult to avoid close contact. Face mask use in libraries is mandatory except for health conditions which prohibit mask use.

Helsinki distributes free masks to people in need

On Friday, 21 August, the City of Helsinki started handing out face masks to residents in need at several open distribution points in several locations. A list of distribution points is available on the city website.

The Finnish health authority recently recommended that everyone 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 12, and so the distribution of face masks applies to this same demographic.

Face mask distribution points in Helsinki

An up-to-date list of face mask 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 releases on mask use in Russian, Somali and Arabic

بدأت هلسنكي توزع كماماتللوجه مخصصة لمنخفضي الدخل

Use face masks properly

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.

Recommendations regarding the use of face masks

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group's recommendation applies to all 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

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and the City of Helsinki recommend wearing face masks on public transport. Everyone is encouraged to avoid travelling during rush hours, when 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 stations 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

24.02.2021 13:22