The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland to limit the number of participants in indoor public events and public meetings in the metropolitan area to 20 persons. In addition, the group recommends arranging the use of premises that are open to the public or intended for a limited group of customers or participants in such a way that the risk of infection from close contact between customers and activity participants can be prevented.
The epidemic situation in the metropolitan area has continued to decline. Unvaccinated adults in particular are maintaining the epidemic at a high level, and the incidence of infection has continued to rise. Currently, there are restrictions on public events in force in the metropolitan area regarding indoor standing sections and sing-along events.
However, the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group considers that the introduction of more extensive restrictions on public events and customer premises than those mentioned above is necessary to contain the declining coronavirus situation and to safeguard the operation of the social and health care services, including hospital and intensive care capacity. Currently, hospitals have to cancel several operations requiring intensive care in the HUS area every day.
The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group suggests that indoor public events should be subject to a relatively low overall capacity limit, as the audience in larger venues may be too large in terms of the potential for virus spread. Therefore, the coronavirus coordination group recommends a total capacity limit of 20 persons if the operator does not require participants to have a COVID-19 passport.
It is recommended that the restrictions extend beyond the turn of the year, so that Christmas and New Year events will be covered by the capacity limit. Operators have the possibility to avoid restrictions by introducing the COVID-19 passport in their activities.
Restrictions would also apply to events for children and young people, but children under the age of 16 would not be restricted from attending public events, even if the organiser introduces the COVID-19 passport in its events.
The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group encourages people to seek COVID-19 vaccination without delay if they are not yet fully vaccinated. There is a good availability of vaccination appointments and vaccines.
The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group prepares local decision-making
The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland established the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group on 10 September 2020. In line with a regional operating model devised by Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the group aims to strengthen the formation of a common situational assessment and to coordinate and prepare local and regional measures.
The group consists of top management from each member organisation and is responsible for the preparation and coordination of decision-making based on a shared assessment of the situation. Each member makes decisions independently, within its own sphere of authority. The group further intensifies the close metropolitan area collaboration that has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis.
The City of Helsinki is responsible for organising the group’s operations.
In addition to the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the City of Kauniainen also follows the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.