The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination revealed the new measures to tackle the spreading phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

The capital region is now in the spreading phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today
The capital region is now in the spreading phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group has imposed new restrictions to tackle the spreading phase of the coronavirus pandemic. The group revealed the new restrictions in detail in a press conference on Friday.

The new restrictions are in effect in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen beginning on November 30 until December 20, 2020. (Unless stated otherwise.)

All public gatherings of over 10 people will be banned in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and the Hospital District of Päijät-Häme. The restriction is in effect starting on Monday, November 30, and is in effect in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa until December 18 and in the Hospital District of Päijät-Häme until December 14.

All public spaces for customers that are operated by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen will be closed except for facilities that offer necessary services like social services.

The closed facilities include, for example, all venues for indoor sports, cultural centers, museums and youth facilities—even the Korkeasaari Zoo.

Basically, all organized leisure activity will be banned in the cities’ premises. In addition, all hobbies of over 20 years old will be banned in outdoor facilities, such as sports fields. Hobbyists under 20 can continue practicing in outdoor spaces but new reservations will not be accepted between November 30–December 20.

The group also recommends that operators in the private sector will close doors to venues like gyms and sports facilities.

Libraries offer limited service, such as picking up reserved books and “the necessary quick use of the computer.” When visiting the library, wearing a mask is necessary.

The group recommends that family gatherings would be avoided. Celebrating birthdays and other similar events should also be avoided.

Upper secondary schools and vocational schools will transfer to distance learning, beginning December 3. The restrictions will be in effect until December 31, 2020.

Restaurants will operate according to the previous restrictions. “The decisions related to restaurants belong to the responsibility of the government,” Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki said.

In addition, the group recommends avoiding traveling and family gatherings, at least for the following three weeks.