At its meeting on Thursday 10 June 2021, the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group decided that the Helsinki Metropolitan Area had returned to a lower epidemic level, i.e. the acceleration phase. The policy is based on the epidemiological situation and the overall assessment carried out.
The group has been preparing the decision and its practical implementation since last week's meeting, whereupon the group anticipates that the situation is likely to move towards the acceleration phase. This uncertainty was created by, among other things, a slower-than-expected reduction in new infections, the possible impact of the school closing weekend on infection rates and the role of viral variants in the management of the epidemic. Uncertainties remain about the development of the situation. The coronavirus coordination group is prepared to re-outline the matter quickly if the situation worsens.
The acceleration phase will be immediately phased in and, as a result, services will be opened and restrictions will be lifted from Tuesday 15 June 2021 onwards, as follows:
Competition activities related to the activities of children and young people (born in 2001 and younger) will also be made possible in indoor facilities managed by the cities on a limited basis from 15 June onwards. The following health safety principles must be observed in operations: Decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland on the number of participants in public events concern the spectators of the competitions.
Sports activities of adults will also be made possible in indoor facilities managed by the cities on a limited basis from 15 June onwards. However, adult sports activities are still only currently possible outdoors. The following health safety principles must be observed in operations: Compliance with the same instructions is also recommended for private operators.
The customer service facilities of municipalities will be opened, with the exception of gyms and group sports facilities. The facilities to be opened include library reading rooms, group use facilities and self-service services, as well as performance and teaching facilities for cultural facilities and the like. The rental of conference and meeting rooms is made possible in accordance with the public event restrictions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. Customer service facilities no longer need to use schematic type customer number restrictions, but health safety should be taken care of through facility-specific arrangements.
The coronavirus coordination group also recommends that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland makes a decision as soon as possible to waive restrictions on the number of persons at public events, so that for events of more than 10 people indoors and more than 50 people outdoors, the guidelines of OKM / THL 31.5.2021 must be followed and it must also be possible for participants or groups to avoid close contact.
In addition, the coronavirus coordination group recommends that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland make a decision as soon as possible to waive the restrictions under section 58 d of the Communicable Diseases Act regarding effective safety intervals and avoiding physical contact at customer premises, as the conditions for the restrictions are no longer met.
Private events are recommended to be restricted under the same conditions as public events.
The coronavirus coordination group emphasises that the epidemic is not yet over, caution and health safety practices must continue to be followed and some restrictions should continue to be maintained. The restrictions on services that will remain in force in the area will still apply to guided sports activities for adults in indoor facilities, independent activities in gyms and group sports facilities, and adult competition, match and tournament activities in indoor facilities. In addition, previous recommendations on remote working and the wearing of face masks remain in force. Health safety recommendations should continue to be followed in all activities.
The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland will inform its own decisions separately.
The decision of the coordination group is based on an epidemiological assessment and overall consideration of the development of the coronavirus situation and the instructions can be changed quickly if the situation so requires.
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.
Coronavirus updates from Helsinki
Photo: Maarit Hohteri