The limited restrictions contained in the coronavirus are generally valid for three weeks from 18 to 20 December.
Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday highlighted that the prevalence of the virus has increased in the metropolitan area in recent weeks, rising from 107.7 cases to 189.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on 15 and 29 November. The incidence was even higher in the capital, 251.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Vapaavuori said on Friday that the metropolitan area has a special responsibility, as its efforts will serve as an example to decision-makers in other areas. Local residents, he stressed, need to take the recommendation and restrictions seriously.
“We have received a lot of feedback that there are no proven chains of infection in libraries, theaters or hobby spaces, for example. While this is true, we are only as strong as our weakest link. This means that general caution is no longer enough,” he argued.
Locals called for a reduction in social contact outside the home
The Metropolitan Coronavir Coordination Group decided that all indoor and outdoor events will be banned in the capital until December 18th. However, events and meetings with up to 10 participants are allowed as long as certain precautions are taken.
Local residents are encouraged to limit close social contact with people and loved ones living in the same household.
Authorities recommend that people refrain from organizing other private gatherings and family reunions, including anniversaries, birthdays, and graduation parties. Similarly, funerals and memorial services should be provided only for a small group of Close Relatives.
“Infections that spread within the family are a threat, especially to people at risk. Christmas holidays are another challenge in this context, ”said the Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä (NCP). “It is not primarily advisable to meet someone with whom you are not in close contact on a regular basis in your daily family life.”
Markku MäkijärviThe head of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) added that people should also refrain from traveling from the Helsinki metropolitan area to other parts of Finland from 30 November to 20 December.
Libraries offer limited services
All organized indoor leisure activities, including basic art education, and organized outdoor activities for people over the age of 20 will be suspended to limit social contact in the metropolitan area. Indoor sports will be canceled in the same way for everyone and outdoor sports for all over 20s except professional and competitive international sports.
Private service providers are also urged to comply with the restrictions until 20 December.
“It was decided that children’s activities should also be suspended indoors because of the junior [athletes and teams] most of the use of sports facilities. Now it is absolutely important to avoid all social contacts, ”Mäkelä said.
All public spaces open to guests will be closed, including all indoor sports facilities, cultural centers, museums and municipal youth facilities. The only facilities that will keep their doors open for the next three weeks are social and health services, early childhood education, basic education and essential secondary education.
Library services are also limited to, for example, retrieving materials from booking shelves and themed shelves using self-service machines. People who use library services must wear a face mask.
Vocational and secondary schools are moving entirely to distance learning, although the necessary personalized education is available to students with disabilities and individual needs. The distance learning period begins on December 3 and ends on December 31.
Restaurant restrictions unchanged
Vapaavuori announced on Friday that no other restrictions will be imposed on the restaurants, as they fall within the competence of the central government.
Restaurants in the Helsinki metropolitan area can therefore be open from 05:00 until 23:00 and offer alcoholic beverages from 07:00 until 22:00. Restaurants serving mainly alcohol must limit their capacity to 50% and those serving mainly food to 75% of the normal maximum capacity.
They must also offer customers the opportunity to wash their hands and avoid close contact with others both indoors and outdoors.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page