People in a movie theater.

The Helsinki metropolitan area – a recommendation to avoid private events of more than 20 persons and to require face masks at sports and culture events

The metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group decided in its meeting on the 8th of October 2020 on new local methods to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

The virus is currently spreading at a worrying rate at family and private events. The metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group continues to strongly recommend particular caution and restraint in the holding of private events, and that private meetings of more than 20 persons be postponed or cancelled. The recommendation concerns also graduation parties in the autumn and celebrations during the Christmas period.

In addition, the group considered the safety of large sports and culture events. The group has previously recommended enterprises to require customers to use face masks in their premises and at their events. The recommendation concerns enterprises whose operations involve customer encounters, such as those behind stores, shopping centres, cultural services and sports events. Cities will send a common letter to the organizers of big events, emphasizing the significance of complying with the safety instructions and the importance of face mask usage, and encouraging organizers to strongly recommend the use of face masks at their events. Event organisers are responsible for the implementation of health safety.

The metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group strives to find new local methods to curb the coronavirus epidemic. At the same time, the aim is to avoid a lockdown. The epidemic is accelerating in the metropolitan area. All acceleration stage regulations and recommendations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have been implemented in the area. The new recommendations and measures focus especially on the prevention of the epidemic’s spread in connection with the use of private and public services and at private events. The local recommendations and restrictions supplement the national decrees and recommendations.

The metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group prepares local decision-making

The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland established a regional metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group on the 10th of September 2020. The group applies the regional operating model of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and its aim is to strengthen the formation of a common situational picture and to coordinate and prepare regional and local measures.

Consisting of top-level management personnel, the group is responsible for the preparation and coordination of decision-making based on a shared situational picture. Decisions will be made by each operator itself within its own sphere of competence. The group will further intensify collaboration in the metropolitan area, which has been going on during the entire coronavirus crisis.

The City of Helsinki is responsible for organising the group’s operations.

Photo: Virpi Peltola