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
- Recreational activities
- Remote work
- Visitation restrictions at social and health care units
- Service centres for pensioners and the unemployed
- Regulations regarding customer premises
- Public premises
- Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, serving times and customer capacity
- Public events
- Private events
- Organisation of teaching
- Safety in education
Recommendations for the use of face masks
The recommendation is in effect until further notice.
By using a mask, everyone over the age of 12 can protect themselves in situations in which it is difficult to avoid close contact, for example, in indoor public spaces and when using crowded public transport. Members of groups deemed at high risk of contracting the coronavirus should also continue to wear a mask in public, even if they are fully vaccinated.
Wearing a mask is still recommended in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in the following circumstances:
- if you are in transit to a coronavirus test or treatment due to a suspected infection
- if you have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection and must move about in public
- if you know you have been exposed to the coronavirus (for example, a family member has tested positive) and you must move about in public
- if you pay a visit to social and health services as a client, patient or visitor, or if you are an employee of these services, in line with guidelines from the relevant authorities.
The separate recommendations to use a mask at schools, universities and other learning institutions in the area will also end. Those who wish to continue using a mask are free to do so, and masks will continue to be distributed at no cost to students and staff of city schools and learning institutions.
The following health and safety guidelines must be followed in recreational activities:
- 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.
- The risk of infection caused by close contact between customers, participants and groups is prevented. Operators can meet their obligations by restricting the number of customers, implementing measures regarding customer seats or space arrangements or by some other method that takes into consideration the special characteristics of their operations.
- 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.
- For competition, match and tournament audiences, the decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency on public events are followed.
- 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.
Even for outdoor recreational activities, it is recommended to follow the principles described above, where applicable.
The recommendation is valid until further notice.
It is recommended to employers that wide-scale remote work be gradually switched to a combination of remote and contact work as of 1 March.
Visitation restrictions at social and health care units
This recommendation is in effect until further notice.
Family members and close friends of patients treated at Helsinki’s hospitals can visit them. For indoor visits, the maximum number of visitors is two at a time. There can be two visits per day. There is no time limit set for an individual visit. For outdoor visits, there are no restrictions on the number of visitors, the number visits per day and their duration.
If you come to visit, you must not have COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms. Visitors must wear a face mask, ensure good hand hygiene and keep a safe distance from others. You can ask for more information about visits from the hospital where your relative/friend 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. There is no time limit set for an individual visit. Only visit when you are in good health. All visitors are given a face mask, which they must wear throughout 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
The Service Centres are open from 1 March 2022. The service numbers will respond as usual.
Day and group activities for the elderly
The day and group activities are open from 1 March 2022. 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))
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
Restaurant restrictions were lifted from 1 March onwards. The lifting of the restrictions applies to all restaurants.
The obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance will remain in force in all regions:
- Restaurants must clearly inform people arriving there that a person with symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection is not allowed to enter the premises.
- Restaurants must make sure that there is no unnecessary congestion in their premises.
- Restaurants must ensure that the premises and surfaces are cleaned and that customers are given the opportunity to clean their hands.
- Restaurants must draw up a written plan on how to implement the obligations and restrictions laid down for their activities.
Restrictions on public events in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area were lifted on Monday 14 February 2022.
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.
There are no restrictions related to private events currently in force in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. However, it is still advisable to follow general health safety recommendations, such as participating only when you are completely healthy, observing good hand hygiene and keeping a sufficient distance to others, also in private events.
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
The recommendation is valid until further notice.
COVID-19 restrictions are being relaxed in early childhood education and schools.
However, health security guidelines will continue to be closely followed. Attention will be paid to good hand and respiratory hygiene. Children should only come to school and daycare when they are healthy. Sufficient space will be considered in all our activities, but groups of pupils/children will no longer need to be kept strictly separate at all times. Recesses no longer have to be phased, but we will do our best to avoid crowding during transitions.
The separate recommendations to use a mask at schools and other learning institutions in the area has ended. Those who wish to continue using a mask are free to do so, and masks will continue to be distributed at no cost to students and staff of city schools and learning institutions.
Overnight school camps and trips within Finland can be arranged if the appropriate health security guidelines are observed. In addition to the school's own staff, parents and guardians can accompany the group as supervisors. People who are ill or show symptoms may not participate. Parents and guardians will be required to use face masks in accordance with the current mask recommendations for City of Helsinki employees, in addition to observing other health security guidelines.
Morning and afternoon activities will be organised both as indoor and outdoor activities. Children will participate in the activities in fixed groups with their own instructor.
Schools will start to distribute COVID-19 home tests in week 9. At first, the tests will be directed to comprehensive school pupils and staff as well as secondary school students participating in matriculation examinations.
More on the topic:
Coronavirus updates from Helsinki