The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) rescinded its national recommendations for general face mask use on 14 April 2022. People can now use face masks at their own discretion, but in certain specific situations, the recommendations remain valid. On 20 April, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group decided to update its regional mask recommendation in accordance with the new THL policy.
The coronavirus epidemic is showing signs of abating in the capital region, and yet incidence rates remain high. While vaccinations provide excellent protection against serious illness, infections can still occur.
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.
With this decision, 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.
Photo: Sakari Röyskö