Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

UPDATED: 12:27pm

Public gatherings indoors will be limited to 20 people in the capital region beginning next Monday, November, 23, according to the decision by the Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group. (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa). For starters, the limit will be in effect for the following three weeks.

The new restrictions were revealed on Friday and are based on the evaluation that the capital region is now in the spreading phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki, who was speaking in a press conference on Friday, the limitation is not a recommendation and added that the new restrictions include, for example, sports events, concerts “and other events.”

In addition, the group recommends that private gatherings would be limited to 10 people.

Another major restriction includes hobbies that are arranged in premises administered by cities of the metropolitan area, such as sports halls, which are venues for team and contact sports.

Team and contact sports that include practitioners over 20 years old will be stopped for the following three weeks beginning next Monday.

The restrictions exclude practitioners in the national teams and other practice that aims at the top-level competitions.

Schools and swimming halls

Beginning next Monday, students in secondary schools are recommended to be wearing masks. The cities will purchase the masks for the students.

Other restrictions include that the number of visitors in swimming halls will be limited to half. In addition, the number of seats in study halls of public libraries will be limited.

Vapaavuori added that restaurants are also likely to face new restrictions, but they will be administered by the government. In practice, all restaurants must close at 23:00 at the latest in the spreading phase of the coronavirus.