The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland make a decision on the immediate implementation of temporary section 58(d) of the Communicable Diseases Act. The section lays down an obligation to arrange 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 customers, activity participants and groups can feasibly avoid close contact. Each operator may fulfil its obligations by restricting the number of customers, by rearranging the customer seats or facilities, or in another manner that considers the special characteristics of the operations. The decision may apply to a wide range of private and public customer premises, with the exclusion of restaurants. Earlier on, the coronavirus coordination group already urged public and private operators to prepare for the implementation of this new restriction.
Furthermore, the coronavirus coordination group recommends that the Regional State Administrative Agency make a decision on the implementation of temporary section 58(g) of the Communicable Diseases Act as soon as possible. As regards section 58(g), the matter will be reviewed in the next meeting of the coronavirus coordination group on 25 February 2021. In addition to the fulfilment of epidemiological criteria, the meeting will assess the necessity of the decision and its broader impacts as well as any possible derived specifications and delineations regarding particular matters, areas and periods of time. Temporary section 58(g) of the Communicable Diseases Act will enable the temporary closure of customer premises and will apply to private gyms, team sport facilities, spas, public saunas, dance venues, amusement and theme parks, and the public lounge areas of shopping centres.
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 will also adhere to the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.
Photo: Kimmo Brandt, City of Helsinki