Passenger capacity will be halved on all trains from March 27. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s decision to limit passenger capacities to half on the HUS area affects all long-distance and commuter trains operated by the government-owned railway company, VR. The restrictions on passenger capacity are valid from March 27 to April 25.

“The new limitations,” according to a statement released by VR, “do not affect journeys already booked, and passengers don’t need to make any changes or cancellations to their tickets. The limitations to capacity will be implemented straight into our online services during week 14 once the technical solution is completed.”

The full passenger capacity includes room for passengers who travel standing, and therefore the halved capacity still allows more than half of the seats to be occupied on a single train.

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According to VR, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the average level of occupancy on long-distance trains is currently low, and “there is plenty of room on the trains.”

The limitations do not apply to cabins and compartments, as they are always booked for private use or a private travel party. Rail car traffic is also ruled outside these limitations.

VR recommends that, if possible, passengers would travel outside of the morning and afternoon peak hours.

Everyone on the train is required to wear a mask.