Pupils in the classroom.

Changes to health safety guidelines in schools and educational institutions - the general face mask recommendation ends after the autumn holiday

On 12 October 2021, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) issued new health safety recommendations for early childhood education, schools, educational institutes and universities. 

The risk of coronavirus infection in these facilities and their operations has been low in the monitoring of THL, and, therefore, there is no longer a need for a general recommendation on the use of face masks. The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group has estimated that the general face mask recommendation for sixth-graders and older students in schools and educational institutes can be removed after the autumn holiday week, i.e. from 25 October 2021 onwards. At the same time, the face mask obligation concerning staff at schools and educational institutes will also be removed.

The use of a face mask is still recommended for all non-vaccinated over 12 years old and in certain special situations

Despite the end of the general face mask recommendation, a face mask is recommended to be used in the same situations as in the face mask use recommendations issued for the entire Helsinki metropolitan area. The use of a face mask is always recommended in public indoor areas if the person is not fully vaccinated or has not contracted COVID-19 within the last six months previously. In addition, everyone is recommended to wear a face mask indoors in situations where there are a lot of people close to each other, in schools, for example, in large gatherings. 

Face masks are available in schools and educational institutes, as well as in early childhood education, free of charge.

However, close contact should still be avoided and hygiene instructions such as regular hand washing are to be followed. 

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Coronavirus updates from Helsinki