The City of Helsinki has decided to boost preparedness and has today made new decisions on the coronavirus situation. The decisions are based on current knowledge and national policy guidelines.
“The coronavirus situation has escalated to a degree where a City-level coordination group will meet daily to decide on any new policy guidelines and practices. Today we have decided on new measures governing public events, recreational activities and staff, among other matters. In addition, we will open a coronavirus health station at Laakso,” says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
Helsinki schools, day care centres and educational institutions to remain open
The schools, day care centres and educational institutions in Helsinki will remain open. “The key functions of our society should not be crippled without grave justifications. Experts have it that closing schools would not have much of an impact to curb the epidemic at this stage,” says Vapaavuori.
Students have the right to enjoy a safe learning environment. The City’s instructions aim at this, also in these circumstances. Helsinki steps up the cleaning of schools and follows the instructions issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and official decrees. Hands are being washed more often, which is also monitored. Nobody should attend school or day care when ill. This applies to students and staff alike. People should stay home if they exhibit even minor flu symptoms.
In addition, the City has decided to recommend that, when returning to a school, educational institution or day care centre from abroad excluding the Nordic countries and Estonia, children and students should stay home for a period of one week starting from the day they return.
Laakso health station – your new coronavirus health station
A new coronavirus health station will be opened at Laakso on 16 March at 8am. Those patients residing in Helsinki who exhibit symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection needing an urgent evaluation or treatment will be referred to Laakso.
As of 16 March, other health stations in Helsinki will not treat patients exhibiting any upper respiratory tract symptoms.
The health stations at Haaga, Munkkiniemi and Töölö will serve the current clients of the Laakso health station as of 16 March.
The Kallio family centre, Lauttasaari maternity clinic and Viiskulma maternity clinic will serve the clients of the Laakso maternity clinic as of 16 March.
All non-urgent appointments of all health stations are cancelled for the time being. Clients will be contacted.
If you live in Helsinki and exhibit symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection needing an urgent evaluation, contact the coronavirus hotline on 09 310 10024.
The service centres for the elderly, such as those in Kamppi and Kinapori, will be closed as of Monday 16 March for the time being. The same applies to the work and day activity centres for the disabled. Guidance on visiting those in risk groups will be updated.
Courses, activity groups and public event of over 100 people to be cancelled
The City of Helsinki has decided to cancel its public events of over 100 people organised indoors and outdoors for the time being. In addition, it is recommended that smaller events be cancelled too, if the target audience includes risk groups.
The activity groups, courses and guided recreational activities organised by the City are cancelled or postponed to be held at a later date.
The City of Helsinki’s libraries, sports facilities, youth centres, museums, outdoor areas and the Rastila camping site will remain open normally. However, the swimming halls operated by the City and Urheiluhallit Oy will be closed on 14 March for the time being.
Cleaning will be stepped up at the City's leisure facilities, washing your hands is encouraged, and the City is seeking ways to produce leisure services digitally. The City also encourages people to enjoy the outdoors and sports on their own.
All concerts by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tiivistämö events, events organised by the cultural centres and the weekend's Bravo! festival are cancelled, and new dates for these events are sought where possible. The concerts at the Savoy theatre will be postponed.
Instruction and events at the Finnish Adult Education Centre of the City of Helsinki and Arbis cancelled until further notice
The courses, lectures and events planned for the spring term at the Finnish Adult Education Centre of the City of Helsinki and Helsingfors Arbis are cancelled until further notice as of 14 March.
Course-specific special arrangements, such as remote teaching, will be communicated to clients separately. At a later date, the institutions will notify their clients of any impact of the cancellations on the course fees already paid.
City of Helsinki staff to work remotely where possible
The City of Helsinki has outlined that City staff will not travel abroad for business for the time being.
In addition, the City has decided that any City staff returning from abroad, excluding the Nordic countries and Estonia, from a business trip or a holiday need to work remotely for a period of one week from the day they return.
City staff will not travel on business in Finland either, or attend events of over 100 people, without a very good reason. These decisions will remain in force until further notice.
In addition, the City of Helsinki has decided that remote work should be favoured at workplaces of Helsinki City Group, if this is possible considering the employees’ duties.
The City of Helsinki communicates on topical changes affecting the operations of the City at www.hel.fi/en/coronavirus