Cultural centres, museums, youth facilities and indoor sports facilities to be closed in Helsinki for three weeks – libraries stay open with restrictions

In its meeting on 26.11.2020, the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group decided on new recommendations and restrictions to curb the spread of the epidemic. Almost all customer premises of the cultural and leisure services will remain closed in the municipalities of the Metropolitan Area for three weeks starting 30.11. Only libraries will remain open, and even they are subject to restrictions.

For the services of the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Division, the decision of the coronavirus coordination group means that cultural centres, indoor sports facilities, museums and youth centres will be closed and that library services will be available with restrictions. By this decision, the new restrictions will remain in force until 20.12.2020. The objective of the coronavirus restrictions is to stop the spread of the virus in the Metropolitan Area. Private operators are encouraged by the coronavirus coordination group to comply with the same restrictions.

Public events

All public events to be arranged in cultural centres, libraries, museums and at sports and youth facilities have been cancelled for the restriction period. The cancellation concerns all performances, concerts, events and other public events both indoors and outdoors.

The intention is that performances cancelled at the cultural centres (Annantalo, Caisa, Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Maunula House, Savoy Theatre, Stoa and Vuosaari House) should mainly be arranged later. The concerts of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will be broadcast online through HKO Screen. Tickets already purchased can also be refunded according to the terms and conditions of the ticket vendor.


The meeting and collection facilities of the libraries will be closed to customers, but the libraries will remain open in limited form for short-time visits. Materials can be borrowed and returned quickly using the self-service machines. Services will mainly be provided as self-service and based on advance reservations. Materials must be picked up from the reservation shelf and from limited collection and theme shelves at the machines.

Indispensable use of the computers reserved for customer transactions is also possible under adherence to the safety guidelines. Face mask usage is a requirement in the libraries. Distribution of face masks to low-income people will be continued.

The libraries will remain open with restricted hours. For more information, please visit

Recreational activities and sports services

All organised indoor recreational activities, including basic arts education, will be suspended. In addition, all outdoor time slots for recreational activities of people above 20 years will also be cancelled. Recreational activities of people under 20 years will continue on the outdoor fields of the city based on earlier reservations, but new time slots will not be granted during the coming restriction period. All competitions and matches will be cancelled indoors and outdoors with the exception of top-level and professional sports competitions and matches. Recreational activities can be carried out through remote connections like during the spring lockdown.

Outdoor sports services will remain open. The outdoor fields will remain available to the residents of the municipalities for recreational activities of children and young people outside of the already reserved time slots. Safe distances must be kept at outdoor sports facilities (such as artificial turf fields and artificial skating rinks). People are allowed to use the facilities only when healthy. Monitoring and the presence of youth instructors will be increased on the outdoor fields. Changing rooms and service buildings (excluding toilets) will be kept closed.

Training and competition opportunities will be guaranteed in cooperation with the Metropolitan Area’s sports academy Urhea for competitive and top-level athletes in the case of professional sports based on a league license contract or a sports contract (as defined by the Ministry of Education or Culture), for national team activities, for athletes supported by the Finnish Olympic Committee and for recipients of grants from the Ministry of Education or Culture.

School sports will be arranged outdoors and at the school’s facilities, not at other sports facilities.

The validity of the Sports Services’ season passes will be extended by three weeks, and advance tickets for Yrjönkatu swimming hall will be refunded. Fees for supervised sports and swimming schools are not refunded. 

Photo: Maarit Hohteri © Helsingin kaupunki