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Current recommendations and restrictions in Helsinki

The coronavirus epidemic is currently in the community transmission phase in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. This compilation presents the recommendations and restrictions currently in effect in Helsinki. In addition, various city divisions have issued special recommendations and communicated about them in the context of the relevant services.


On this page:


Recommendations for the use of face masks

The recommendation will be valid until 13 February 2022.

The metropolitan area will return to a broad face mask recommendation for all persons aged 12 years and older, regardless of the level of vaccination protection. The use of face masks is recommended in all indoor public spaces and on public transport where other people are present. The recommendation to use face masks will be extended to grades 3-5 from the beginning of the spring term starting on 10 January 2022.  A face mask does not need to be worn during exercise or if there is a health-related reason that prevents it.

It is recommended that private operators require staff and customers to wear masks at public events, in shops, on public transport and in other customer premises.

Recreational activities

Restrictions will be valid to 7 February 2022. 

Indoor sports facilities such as sports halls, swimming pools and gyms will be closed to 7 February 2022.

However, the facilities are open

  • for following activities for those born in 2003 and later: supervised recreational activities and school swimming lessons
  • everyone over the age of 16 must show a COVID-19 passport
  • for professional sport
  • for statutory rehabilitation

Statutory rehabilitation refers to, for example, various therapies for clients in demanding medical rehabilitation, individually designed and carried out under the guidance of a professional, such as a physiotherapist, which Kela compensates for.

Rehabilitation support paid by Kela or a special swimming card do not entitle you to admission.

Until 7 February 2022, libraries, cultural centres and youth centres can be used for supervised recreational activities such as dance, singing and amateur theatre or similar group activities for children born in 2003 and later.

The organiser of the activity must ensure that:

  • All event participants aged 16 and over must show their COVID-19 passport.
  • The composition of the activity group remains the same.
  • Contact with other activity groups is avoided.
  • No one participates in the recreational activities when they have symptoms of the flu.
  • Recreational activities follow general guidelines for hand and coughing hygiene.
  • Unnecessary physical contact is avoided in recreational activities.
  • Possible participants are placed at a sufficient distance from each other and that arrangements are made to keep the area as spacious as possible.
  • It is strongly recommended that instructors and children over 12-years-old continue to wear face masks when indoors unless health reasons strictly prevent it. A face mask does not need to be worn during an exercise performance.
  • The attendance of those who are not participating is minimized in activity and changing facilities.
  • The decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency on public events are complied with as regards the public for competitions, matches and tournaments, i.e. no spectators are admitted.
  • All participants in recreational activities are instructed to follow the given health safety instructions.
  • The organizer of the activity is always responsible for instructing and monitoring compliance with the instructions.
  • It is recommended to follow the principles described above in recreational activities that also take place outdoors.

Organizers of supervised recreational activities must draw up a health security plan showing that they will follow the guidelines described above and make it available to participants.

Health security plan, printable form
Health security plan, online form to fill out 

Remote work

The recommendation will be valid until 13 February 2022.

Employers are advised to organize remote work in all work tasks where it is temporarily possible. If remote work is not possible, it is recommended that the employer encourages the use of a face mask in all work areas, even if safety distances can be maintained. At workplaces, lunch and coffee breaks should be staggered and the need for personal meetings should be carefully assessed.

Visitation restrictions at social and health care units

This recommendation is in effect until further notice.

Due to the worsening COVID-19 situation, indoor visits by relatives and friends to Helsinki hospitals are prohibited as of 6 January 2022. The ban on visits is in force until further notice.

The ban applies to Laakso, Malmi and Suursuo hospitals as well as Aurora psychiatric hospital. Patients can be visited outdoors during this time.

We are prohibiting visits in order to protect patients and staff from COVID-19 infection. You can talk to and ask about the health of your relative by phone.

Visits to hospice patients and seriously ill patients allowed

If you come to visit, you must not have COVID-19, be quarantined or have even the slightest respiratory symptoms. Arrange your visit in advance with the staff.

Visitors must wear a face mask and ensure good hand hygiene and adequate safety distances. You can ask for more information about visits from the hospital where your relative is being treated.

Visiting senior centres and service houses

Visitors can meet residents indoors, but the visit must always be arranged in advance. A resident cannot have more than two visitors at a time and once a day. In order to avoid the risk of epidemic transmission, please keep visits short (about 15–30 minutes). Only visit when you are in good health. All visitors are given a face mask, which they must wear throughout the visit. This means that visitors cannot, for example, eat or have coffee during the visit.

We recommend holding visits primarily outdoors, the weather and the resident's condition permitting. There is no time limit set for an individual visit.

Service centres for pensioners and the unemployed

Helsinki Service Centres will be closed as of Tuesday, 28 December 2021, due to the acceleration of the coronavirus epidemic. The centres will remain closed until at least 28 February. The service numbers will respond as usual.

Day and group activities for the elderly closed as of 31 December

Helsinki will close the day activities for the elderly and supported group activities as of 31 December. The day and group activities will remain closed at least until 28.2. For those needing the most support we try to find alternative ways of communication. 

Regulations regarding customer premises

These regulations are in effect until 30 June 2022.

The following safety measures must be arranged at all public and private customer facilities:

  • The possibility to clean one’s hands, either by washing or with sanitizer
  • Hygiene instructions must be on display
  • Possible customer seats must be placed at sufficient distances from each other, and the premises should be arranged so there is as much space as possible between customers 
  • Cleaning of facilities and surfaces must be enhanced

(Communicable Diseases Act, Section 58(c))

These regulations are in effect until 31 January 2022.

Operators in charge of customer and public premises must arrange the use of the premises in such a way as to prevent the risk of infection caused by close contact between customers, participants and groups. The operator can, for example:

  • Restrict the number of customers;
  • Stagger participation;
  • Rearrange the premises or customer seating.

These measures and the possible use of the Covid passport must be described in a plan that must be made available for viewing by customers.

(Communicable Diseases Act, section 58d)

Public premises

Restrictions will enter into force on 28 December 2021. 

In accordance with Section 58(g) of the Communicable Diseases Act, an order has been issued for Uusimaa to close certain customer and public premises. The order is valid until 7 February 2022. The COVID-19 passport cannot be introduced as an alternative to the restrictions.

The closure order means that all the following facilities used by public and private operators for sports, exercise, leisure and recreation must be closed:

  • indoor facilities used for team sports, group exercise, contact sports and other similar sports or physical activities, as well as gyms and other similar indoor sports facilities
  • public saunas and swimming pools, outdoor swimming pools and spas, and changing rooms in their immediate vicinity
  • dance venues and facilities for choral singing, amateur theatre or other premises for similar group activities
  • amusement and theme parks, fairs (circuses) and indoor facilities of zoos
  • indoor playparks and similar premises
  • public facilities in shopping centres, excluding retail premises and premises used for the provision of services and access to them.

However, the premises designated for closure may be used for supervised recreational activities for children and young people born in 2003 and younger. The premises can also be used for statutory services, such as medical rehabilitation. The order to close the premises does not apply to professional sports or activities covered by private or family life.

Health safety is ensured in all customer service premises of the City of Helsinki by means of premises-specific arrangements in accordance with section 58(c) of the Communicable Diseases Act.

Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, serving times and customer capacity

Restrictions will be valid to 31 January 2022.

  • Serving in all restaurants ends at 17:00 and the restaurant may be kept open to diners from 05:00-18:00. The restriction will also apply to restaurants that do not serve alcoholic beverages (e.g. cafes and fast food restaurants).
  • In a restaurant in which alcohol consumption is the primary field of business, half of the customer seating may be used. Other restaurants (including cafes and fast food outlets) must only use 75% of their customer seating indoors.
  • All customers of restaurants must have their own seating indoors at a table or equivalent.
  • COVID-19 passports cannot be used at public events and customer premises as alternatives to regional restrictions.
  • Restaurants have the right to require the use of the COVID-19 passport during their opening hours throughout the country.

Public events

Restrictions will enter into force on 28 December 2021. 

In Uusimaa, all indoor public events and public meetings will be prohibited until 31 January 2022, regardless of the number of attendees. The COVID-19 passport cannot be introduced as an alternative to the restrictions.

The general hygiene requirements of the Communicable Diseases Act still apply, which improve the health safety of customer and public premises. Section 58(c) of the Communicable Diseases Act defines general hygiene requirements and are valid without separate official decisions throughout Finland in various customer and public premises, such as shops, shopping centres, sports facilities, museums, theatres and libraries.

Private events

It is recommended to avoid private events and to limit meetings to your immediate family in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Travel

Traffic from EU and Schengen countries to Finland is permitted in accordance with the obligations under the Communicable Diseases Act. Restrictions on external border traffic still persist for several countries. See the Border Guard's Guidelines for details.

When arriving in Finland and Helsinki from abroad by ship

At the port, you will be directed to a checkpoint where you will be asked for COVID-19 certificates (a certificate of a negative test result, vaccinations, or having contracted COVID-19 previously). Certificates are not required for children born in 2007 or later.

Select the green line if

  • you are a Finnish citizen.
  • you are staying or living permanently in Finland.
  • you work in the transport and logistics sector.
  • your job is essential for security of supply.

Select the red line if

  • you do not belong to one of the above green line categories (for example, citizens of other countries).

To enter Finland on the red line, you must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result (tested within less than 48 hours). You must also have a certificate of a complete vaccination series or a certificate of having contracted COVID-19 within the previous 6 months.

Who must be tested for COVID-19 after 72 ours of entering the country?

If your vaccination series is incomplete, you have tested negative for COVID-19 (tested within the previous 72 hours) or you have entered the country without any certificate, you must be tested between 72 and 120 hours after entering the country. Do not get tested earlier or later than this.Neglecting to get tested is punishable (Communicable Diseases Act, section 87 a).

Making an appointment for a coronavirus test in Finland

The most convenient way to book a test is to use the service at finentry.fi. The service is available to both Finnish citizens and foreigners.

You can also make the appointment at a coronavirus information point in your municipality of permanent or temporary residence (Helsinki residents can call number 09 310 10024, every day 8:00–18:00).

If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and are from Helsinki, you can also book an appointment for a COVID-19 test via the omaolo.fi service.

The above instructions do not apply to cargo traffic and logistics personnel on work assignments, or cruise passengers who have departed from Finland and have not disembarked at any stage.

People on work duty must present a bill of consignment or sale. However, it is possible to get tested at the port. Instructions pertaining to specific work tasks have been prepared and distributed separately.

When arriving in Finland and Helsinki from abroad by plane

Read more on the Finavia website

For more information, see the City of Helsinki Coronavirus FAQ.

For the latest information on travel restrictions in Finland, see the Border Guard's Guidelines for border traffic during the pandemic and the National Institute for Health and Welfare's Travel and the coronavirus pandemic

Organisation of teaching

Comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools and vocational institutions in Helsinki have started their spring 2022 studies as contact teaching.

Safety in education, extraordinary teaching arrangements

This recommendation is in effect until further notice.

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.

The metropolitan area will return to a broad face mask recommendation for all persons aged 12 years and older, regardless of the level of vaccination protection. The use of face masks is recommended in all indoor public spaces and on public transport where other people are present. The recommendation to use face masks will be extended to grades 3-5 from the beginning of the spring term starting on 10 January 2022. Face masks are available in schools and educational institutes, as well as in early childhood education, free of charge.

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. On 10 January 2022, Helsinki and 11 other municipalities jointly stated that those exposed to coronavirus in schools and day-care centres will no longer be traced or quarantined as a rule.  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.

THL: Children and coronavirus


More on the topic:

Coronavirus updates from Helsinki

HUS: Regional situation in the coronavirus epidemic and issued recommendations

Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic




25.01.2022 13:51