The City of Helsinki has decided to suspend the collection of penalties for no-shows at public appointments and services until further notice. Normally, customers who fail to attend or cancel a health care appointment, for example, are required to pay a fine of €40.
The decision was spurred by the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, as nonattendance and failure to cancel public appointments in good time could stem from factors associated with the pandemic.
The coronavirus situation has also congested the phone lines for booking municipal services, so it may be the case that customers who have tried to cancel their appointments have not been able to do so. The handling of the fines also creates a significant workload for city employees, who could instead be concentrating on matters that are more urgent at this time.
The City of Helsinki’s social services and health care sub-committee decided on the temporary waiver on 25 March. The decision will remain valid until the state of emergency called by the Finnish government has ended.