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Current recommendations and restrictions in Helsinki

The coronavirus epidemic is currently in the acceleration phase in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

This compilation presents the recommendations and restrictions currently in effect in Helsinki with regard to the coronavirus crisis. In addition, various city divisions have issued special recommendations and communicated about them in the context of the relevant services.

The recommendations and restrictions listed below are largely in force until further notice.


On this page:


Face masks are recommended for people over 12 in the following situations:

It is recommended that everyone over the age of 12 uses a face mask in indoor spaces outside their home. People who cannot wear a face mask for health-related reasons are exempt from this requirement.

The following recommendations are in place until further notice. 

  • On Helsinki region public transport (as of 13 March)
  • At public events and in public spaces, such as shops and banks
  • For everyone who is not working remotely, masks should be worn at work in all of your encounters with others and when moving about the workplace. This recommendation applies to jobs in both the public and private sector.
  • When using municipal services, such as social and health care services
  • When visiting the library and using library services
  • At sports and cultural events
  • On all recreational premises
  • In upper secondary and tertiary education, which includes general upper secondary schools, vocational education and training, and institutes of higher education
  • In primary and lower secondary schools, students in grade 6 and up are required to wear masks provided by the city
  • When parents drop off and pick up their children at daycare or pre-primary education 
  • Daycare centre staff should wear masks indoors whenever possible. Early childhood education employees who travel to several locations in their work are in particular asked to observe the mask recommendation.
  • Social and health care staff in patient and customer contact should wear a mask
  • In transit to a coronavirus tests and during the wait for results, if leaving the home cannot be avoided
  • When arriving in Finland from a risk area and travelling from the arrival point to quarantine, or if it is necessary to leave home during quarantine
  • In other situations where it is not possible to avoid close contact
  • More information: Face mask recommendations

Recreational activities

This recommendation is in effect until further notice.

Persons born in 2001 and later can currently take part in leisure and competition activities in indoor and outdoor facilities. The following health safety principles must be observed in the activities. The recommendation is for persons over the age of 12 to wear a face mask, unless health-related reasons prevent them from doing so – this does not apply during actual physical activity and in outdoor areas. Decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland on the number of participants in public events concern the spectators of the competitions.

As of 1 July, city-managed indoor sports facilities will also be opened to adults to a limited degree. This applies, for example, to the free use of gyms and sports halls as well as indoor sports hobbies for adults. Up to half of the normal number of customers can be admitted to sports facilities and group sports. Adults’ competition activities related to the listed recreational activities will also be allowed indoors from 1 July onwards. The following health safety principles must be observed in the activities. Decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland on the number of participants in public events concern the spectators of the competitions.

NB! The following Helsinki-based indoor sports facilities will be open in July: Töölö Sports Hall, Liikuntamylly, Oulunkylä indoor facilities, the Swimming Stadium’s gym and the football halls of Tali and Myllypuro. The Pirkkola ball game hall and gym will be open until 4 July (the gym and weight-training hall remain open through the summer). Other City of Helsinki indoor sports facilities will be opened in a staggered manner starting from 2 August.

In addition to day camps for children and young people, night camp activities will be possible on a restricted basis. The following health safety principles must be observed in operations: Youth work activities are permitted in limited groups.

All forms of activities for children and young people must be implemented without close contact. Leisure activities must comply with the following principles:

  • The operation must comply with the health safety instructions issued by the authorities. A violation of the instructions issued by the authorities may result in a cancellation or suspension of the use of facilities.
  • Before commencing any activities, please provide the City with a health safety plan regarding them.
  • All activities must observe the safety guidelines that have been issued by the authorities – and in the case of sports, those issued by the Olympic Committee – on social distancing, hand hygiene, and the use of face masks.
  • Coaches and participants over 12 years of age must wear masks indoors, unless a health reason prevents their use. 
  • The activities should arranged in a way that avoids or considerably reduces close contact.
  • Group sizes should be scaled down to ensure that the participants are able to maintain a safe distance from others. Several groups can be active at the same time in spaces that are large enough, as long as contact between the groups is prohibited.
  • The organiser of the activity is responsible for determining the proper group sizes and ensuring that all other safety guidelines are observed.
  • The open use of the facilities is subject to these regulations when applicable. A maximum of half of the normal number of customers are allowed in the facilities.

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa continue to strongly encourage private operators to observe these same recommendations and restrictions in their arrangement of leisure activities for minors.

Remote work

This recommendation is valid until further notice.

Working from home is recommended until further notice. For tasks that can be performed remotely, working from home is still the rule.

Visitation restrictions at social and health care units

This recommendation is valid until further notice.

As the coronavirus epidemic in Helsinki is slowing down and Helsinki has moved to the acceleration phase, the restrictions on visits to senior centres, service houses and hospitals can be gradually lifted. The aim of the restrictions is to protect patients, residents and personnel from coronavirus infections.

Members of the immediate family and loved ones can visit hospitalised patients at Helsinki City Hospital. The maximum duration of an outdoor visit is one hour, and there may be two visitors at a time. There can be two visits per day and they will take place in the patient rooms. If the weather is favourable and the patient's condition allows, you can also visit outdoors. There is no limit to the number of visitors, the duration of visits, and the number of visits when held outdoors. Safety instructions must be followed during visits.

Two-hour visits are allowed for the family members of patients in terminal care. Two visitors are allowed at a time.

Visitors can meet residents of senior centres, service homes and nursing homes indoors. If the weather is favourable and the patient's condition allows, we recommend meetings to be held outdoors. There is no limit to the number of visitors or the duration of visits. There can be several visits during the same day, and they must be arranged in advance no later than the previous day.

All visits must be agreed on in advance with the care facility of the relative no later than the previous day, and face masks must be used during the visits. You may only pay a visit when you are well. Safe distances and good hand hygiene must be ensured.

Service centres for pensioners and the unemployed

Starting on 1 June, supported group activities will be opened at Helsinki's service centres for pensions and the unemployed for clients who are in need of special support. Participants will be invited to the groups separately. All other activities at the service centres, e.g. gyms and restaurants, will remain closed.

Day activities for the elderly

Day activities for the elderly will be opened gradually from 1 June for clients who are in need of special support. Participants will be invited to the groups separately.

Regulations regarding customer premises

These regulations are in effect until 31 December 2021.

The following must be arranged at all public and private customer facilities according to the applicable legislation:

  • The possibility to clean one’s hands, either by washing or with sanitizer
  • Sufficient hygiene instructions should be on display
  • Possible customer seats must be placed at sufficient distances from each other, and there must be generally be as much space as possible
  • The cleaning of facilities and surfaces must be enhanced

(Communicable Diseases Act, Section 58(c))

Public premises

These recommendations are in effect until further notice.

The municipal customer service spaces are open again since 15 June, except for gyms and spaces for group exercise hobbies. It is possible to rent meeting and assembly spaces provided that the restrictions concerning public events by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland are complied with.

The customer service spaces ensure healthy and safe arrangements for every space individually according to section 58 c of the Communicable Diseases Act. Over 12-year-olds are recommended to use a mask indoors, unless reasons concerning health prevent the use of a mask.

On 15 June libraries opened their reading rooms, spaces for group work and self-service operations.

In addition to exhibition spaces, also teaching and presentation spaces opened in museums and culture halls on 15 June 2021.

Outdoor swimming pools and indoor swimming halls are open (except for their gyms and exercise spaces). Over 12-year-olds are recommended to use a mask in the changing rooms. The swimming hall saunas are open, but the gyms are closed. Of the swimming halls that are administrated by the city, the Itäkeskus and Pirkkola districts’ swimming halls are open for all. The Yrjönkatu swimming hall and Jakomäki swimming hall are closed until further notice. The Swimming Stadium and Kumpula outdoor swimming pool are also open.

The adult education centres Työväenopisto and Arbis have gradually opened their spaces since 3 June 2021 for individual courses that require meetings, as well as for supervised independent work for students on courses that involve necessary visits to the centre in order to finish course work (e.g. weaving).

Current authoritative directions and measures required by section 58 c of the Communicable Diseases Act are complied with within all activities.

Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, serving times and customer capacity

  • In a restaurant in which alcohol consumption is the primary business, half of the customer seating may be used. Alcohol may be served from 07.00 to 24.00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05.00 to 01.00.
  • Other restaurants may use 75 per cent of their customer seating. Servings are allowed from 07.00 to 24.00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05.00 to 01.00.
  • For example, alcohol may be served in connection with breakfast starting from 7.00, provided that the Regional State Administrative Agency has granted permission for it. Without this permission, the serving of alcohol may be started at 9.00 at the earliest.
  • Customers do not need to have their own table and seating on an outdoor terrace. However, care must be taken to maintain safe distances and hygiene. The above-mentioned customer seat restrictions do not apply to outdoor terraces.

Public events

These restrictions will remain in effect 2 June – 10 August 2021.

Gatherings may be organised indoors and in delineated outdoors areas without restrictions on the number of participants. As regards gatherings of more than ten people indoors, the customers or participants must have the opportunity to maintain safe distances, i.e., avoid close contact. Indoors, close contact means people remaining less than two metres apart for over 15 minutes or physical contact.

In outdoor events for more than 50 people, the customers or participants must have the opportunity to avoid physical contact, but specific safe distances are not required.

If more than ten people attend an indoor event or more than 50 people attend an outdoor event, the arrangements must also adhere to the guidelines (link) published on 31 May by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on the prevention of coronavirus infections. Hygiene-related requirements must also be observed: for example, customers must have the opportunity to wash their hands and customer areas must be as spacious as possible for maintaining some distance from others.

Private events

This recommendation is valid until further notice.

The same restrictions are recommended for private events as for public events.

It would be a good idea to organise spring and summer celebrations at home or in other private spaces, primarily outdoors and in accordance with the current recommendations on the number of persons at private events and other instructions on the safe organisation of events.

Travel

National travel recommendations and restrictions are in effect, meaning that everyone should avoid nonessential travel to countries other than those for which travel restrictions have been lifted. Domestic travel is permitted, provided that health and safety instructions related to the coronavirus are observed. Avoid all travel when ill.

Finnish Government: Restrictions and recommendations during the coronavirus epidemic

These recommendations and restrictions are in place until further notice.

When arriving in Finland and Helsinki, you must

  1. present proof of having had covid-19 within the last six months, 
  2. present proof of a negative covid-19 test (tested within the last 72 hours), or 
  3. indicate that you have booked an appointment for a coronavirus test through the Finentry application

While onboard during your trip, please fill in the symptom questionnaire and personal information form in advance and, where possible, prepare to present a passport or ID card at the testing and information point. 

Request the symptom questionnaire and personal information form from the ship staff. The testing and information points are located in the terminal and by the car lane. 

Coronavirus testing in Finland

We recommend a self-imposed 14-day quarantine to all people arriving in Finland. You can shorten your self-imposed quarantine by getting tested for the coronavirus twice. 

If you do not have any of the certificates mentioned above, you will be guided to take your first coronavirus test in the harbour. The second test can be taken at the earliest 72 hours after the first one. 

If you do not seek out your first coronavirus test in the harbour, please do so within 24 hours in your place of stay or residence.    

To protect others, you must continue your voluntary quarantine until both test results are ready and have been proven negative. 

You will be informed about how to proceed during your test.  

If your stay in In Finland lasts less than 72 hours

  • and you do have one of the above certificates, you do not have to seek out coronavirus testing in Finland. 
  • and you do not have any of the above certificates, you must submit to self-imposed quarantine. 

More information is available from the coronavirus information point at the port: www.thl.fi.

Lower secondary schools

Grades 7–10 in lower secondary schools resumed contact teaching on Monday, 3 May 2021.

Upper secondary education

General upper secondary schools and vocational educaiton and training resumed contact teaching on Monday, 3 May 2021.

Safety in education, extraordinary teaching arrangements

Safety recommendations from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are observed in early childhood education and basic education.

Primary and secondary schools in the city must stagger starting times and lunches, in addition to ensuring safe distances and the practice of good hand hygiene. In the event that a coronavirus infection is discovered in an early education establishment, school or other educational institute, those exposed will be traced and quarantined. Remote teaching must be arranged for all of the students who have been judged to be exposed. Decisions on quarantine are made by physicians specialising in infectious diseases.

If it becomes challenging to organise basic education as the epidemic escalates, for example, if several staff members are placed in quarantine, the school will transition to special teaching arrangements that introduce distance learning for multiple classes. Decisions of this nature are made by the Executive Director of the City of Helsinki’s Education Division. The decision requires an assessment from a health authority that indicates the necessity of extraordinary teaching arrangements.

This recommendation is in place until further notice.

Face mask recommendation for comprehensive education personnel

All personnel of comprehensive schools are recommended must wear a face mask at work. Adherence to the mask recommendation helps ensure the continuation of classroom education and reduces exposures on school premises. This  recommendation entered into force on 11 November 2020.

THL: Children and coronavirus

This recommendation is in place until further notice.

Mask recommendation extends to sixth graders

The face mask recommendation in basic education was extended to sixth graders as of 13 January 2021, in accordance with recommendations from THL. The children are requested to comply with the recommendation, unless a medical reason prevents this. The students will be shown in school how to wear a face mask safely. Sixth graders in Helsinki will receive free face masks from the schools, but they can also use their own masks. 

This recommendation is in place until further notice.


More on the topic:

Coronavirus updates from Helsinki

HUS: Regional situation in the coronavirus epidemic and issued recommendations

Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic




16.07.2021 15:09