The cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen address a shared message to cultural, sports and youth service operators to remind of the importance of responsible operation during the coronavirus pandemic. Responsible operation guarantees the continuation of services also during the crisis.
Leisure services have a significant impact on people’s mental endurance and health. If culture and leisure service operators display joint initiative and responsibility and make the changes required by the situation, services can be kept open more probably, at least in limited form.
The cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen remind that this requires continuous and maximum responsibility from everybody regarding facility usage, operations and compliance with the relevant coronavirus-related instructions.
“The coronavirus situation is worsening in the metropolitan area. Sports, culture, youth work and libraries are important for people’s well-being and for the crisis resilience of our community. We are aware that the situation is very tough for many organisations and cultural service operators. I encourage every operator in our field to maximise measures and communication on their own initiative. We will be happy to to help our partners to find ways of improving health safety,” says Tommi Laitio, Executive Director for Culture and Leisure at the City of Helsinki.
The following are risk factors regarding the spread of infection:
- Intense and long-lasting presence in the same indoor space with other people.
- Poor ventilation.
- Shouting, heavy breathing and singing.
The cities’ health safety instructions:
- In addition to signs and notifications, also personnel should guide people towards acting safely.
- People should withdraw from participation even with mild symptoms. The possible importance of performances or games should not play a role here.
- People aged above 15 years are strongly recommended to use face masks indoors whenever possible. For example in sports situations it is often impossible to use a face mask, but masks should be used for example at arrival, in the dressing room and when waiting for one’s turn.
- All participants should wash their hands when arriving in an indoor space. In addition, hand sanitiser should always be available. People should be regularly reminded of both.
- Equipment should be disinfected at the beginning and end of activities.
- Safe distances should be maintained in all situations, e.g. on stands and substitute benches.
- Mixing of groups should be avoided as far as possible.
The cities emphasise that we can prevent the spread of coronavirus in cultural and leisure facilities together.
Picture: Maarit Hohteri