THL warns about the new coronavirus mutations that spread more quickly than the previously known one. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The key to combating the coronavirus is “distance, distance, distance,” as renowned epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm has said numerous times.

The new variants of Covid-19 spread even more quickly than the previously known one. Thus, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends keeping a distance of more than two meters to others. “In addition, close contacts should be further reduced,” THL noted in a statement.

“Since the new coronavirus variants spread more easily, we need to be even more careful and stay over two meters away from others. We should limit close contacts to the most essential ones. It is also important that you still get tested if you have the faintest symptoms matching coronavirus,” Mika Salminen, director of health and security at THL, said in the statement.

THL stressed that masks should be worn in public spaces, even if it is possible to maintain a distance of over two meters

Currently, THL recommends that everyone in Finland aged 12 or over wears a mask.

Wearing masks is recommended in public transport and other public vehicles, public indoor spaces and events, including schools and educational institutions from comprehensive school grade 6 upwards and in work communities indoors if several people are working or present in the same space.

Mask should be worn in these spaces even if a safe distance of more than two meters can be maintained.

THL urges people to get tested for the coronavirus if they experience even the faintest symptoms. (Including headache, loss of smell or taste, head cold or blocked nose, cough, shortness of breath, loss of energy or fatigue, muscle pain, throat pain or irritated throat, fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.)  “You should also get tested if you suspect that you have been exposed to the virus, for example through a person who has traveled abroad,” THL concluded.