According to the latest assessment on the pandemic situation, the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group has decided to lift restrictions related to hobbies and culture.

Libraries, including Oodi central library in Helsinki, will open with limited services at the beginning of June. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

Libraries, museums, outdoor swimming pools, swimming pools and adult outdoor competitions will be opened on a limited basis as of June 1, 2021, according to the decision by the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group.

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.

Here’s the full list of lifted restrictions.

Libraries

Library premises will be opened for a maximum of half of the number of customers as of June 1, 2021. The customers are required to maintain a two-meter distance from each other.

Group activity spaces and reading rooms will remain closed and self-service library activities will not be opened. Seating arrangements will be decreased to maintain safe distances.

Other arrangements will also be made in library premises to ensure safe distances, for example at computers and copy machines. Libraries will monitor the number of customers and, if necessary, restrict access.

Museums and culture centers

The exhibition spaces of museums and cultural centers, as well as other exhibition spaces, will be opened to a small number of customers in a way that visitors can maintain a safe distance of at least two meters from other visitors as of June 1, 2021.

One space can accommodate up to 10 people at a time and an entire museum can accommodate up to 50 people. The hall supervisors will monitor the situation and instruct customers in such a way as to ensure sufficient safe distances are maintained at the premises. In case of possible queuing, safe distances should be maintained.

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Swimming pools and halls

Outdoor swimming pools and swimming halls (excluding gyms and sports halls) will be opened for use for up to half of the normal number of customers as of June 1, 2021. Lockers must be used in such a way that safety distances of at least two meters are possible.

Adult hobbies

Competition activities related to adult hobbies will be possible outdoors as of June 1, 2021. The public may be admitted within the framework of the Regional State Administrative Agency’s regulations on public events and the activities must be organized whilst taking into account the cities’ health safety regulations.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends that private events be limited to a maximum of ten people indoors and a maximum of 50 people outdoors as of June 1, 2021.

Until the end of May, the recommendation is six people, regardless of whether the event is held indoors or outdoors.

Organizing public events

All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings are prohibited for a limited period, so that from May 25, 2021, to May 31, 2021, indoor and outdoor meetings with a maximum of 10 people may be held indoors and outdoors, provided that safety is ensured following the instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on September 21, 2020.

However, all indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings shall continue to be prohibited for a limited period, so that, from June 1, 2021, to June 15, 2021, public events and general meetings with a maximum of 50 people may be held indoors and outdoors, provided that safety can be ensured following the instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on September 21, 2020.

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The decision on the restrictions was made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.

Organizing private events

It is recommended that private events be limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and a maximum of 50 people outdoors.

The recommendation will remain valid as of June 1, 2021, until further notice.

Public premises

As a rule, customer premises open to the public will be open as of June 1, 2021. There are several restrictions regarding person numbers and other issues on the use of facilities.

The recommendations will remain in effect until further notice.

Recreational activities

The indoor and outdoor premises of the cities can be used for guided recreational activities of children and young people born in 2001 or later. Competition activities related to children’s hobbies are possible outdoors.

Outdoor hobby activities for adults are possible on a restricted basis. Competition activities related to adult hobbies will be possible outdoors as of June 1, 2021.

Premises and areas of the cities require compliance with separate health security instructions, which entails organizers being required to provide a health security plan, for example. The coronavirus coordination group recommends all operators to adhere to the same instructions.

The recommendations will remain in effect until further notice.

Remote work

The coordination group still recommends employers to arrange all tasks remotely wherever possible, even temporarily. If remote work is impossible, the employer is recommended to instruct the employees to use face masks in all workspaces, even where it is possible to maintain safe distances. Workplace meals and coffee breaks must be staggered.

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The recommendation will remain valid until further notice.

Face mask usage

Face mask usage is recommended for all persons above the age of 12 in all indoor spaces outside the home.

The recommendation will remain valid until further notice.