The corona epidemic is spreading in our region. The recommendations and restrictions are valid according to the current assessment until 31.5.
The most relevant points of the recommendations and restrictions, updated May 3:
- It is recommended to limit the number of participants in private events to 6 people.
- Public events and general meetings are limited to a maximum of 6 people.
- Restaurants in our area are open with limitations in accordance with the Regulation.
- Open customer premises must have a real opportunity to operate in a safe manner. The operator must draw up a written plan of health security measures, which must also be on display to customers.
- It is recommended that adult recreational activities are suspended. Hobbies and recreational activities for under the age of 20 are allowed outdoors in groups of up to 10 people. Safety instructions and distances must continue to be observed at all exercise sites. Guided hobbies for children born in 2008 and beyond can continue without restriction.
- High-risk customer premises can be kept open. These facilities include, for example, facilities for team sports, gyms, swimming pools, indoor playgrounds and public lounges in shopping centers. However, operators are recommended to ensure safety arrangements, for example by limiting the number of people working on the premises.
Private and public events
It is recommended to limit the number of participants in private events to 6 people. Close contact outside the household is recommended to be avoided. For example, meetings between families should be reduced or avoided where possible. It is recommended to use the face mask indoors on these occasions if close contact cannot be avoided.
All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings are prohibited throughout the Joint Authority. However, public events and general meetings with a maximum of 6 people may be held indoors and in restricted outdoors space, provided that safety can be ensured in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Institute for Health and Welfare on 21 September 2020. However, work communities can operate with safety arrangements. Attendance at public events should be reduced or avoided where possible.
We strongly recommend remote working in all tasks where it can be applied. In addition, work arrangements should be organized in a way that it is possible to reduce close contacts and other risk factors in workplaces.
Face mask recommendation
The general recommendation for the use of a face mask applies to everyone over 12 years of age. The use of a face mask is not required for persons who, due to their state of health, cannot use a mask. A person’s own statement of the matter is considered sufficient. The distribution of face masks for persons with low-incomes is at the municipal distribution points.
Face mask is recommended to use in the following situations:
- In schools from sixth graders onwards, as well as in secondary schools, upper secondary schools and universities.
- In all public indoor spaces and public events.
- In public transport.
- When going to a coronavirus test and when moving outside home before the test results are given.
- Passengers arriving in Finland from the risk area when they move from the point of entry to quarantine or if they have a necessary reason to move outside home during quarantine.
- Examples of public indoor spaces and public events where the use of a mask is recommended: In shops, shopping centers, offices, banks, libraries and other similar interiors.
- In premises used for exercise or sports and to watch sport events indoors (at least in public areas and dressing rooms). The mask does not need to be worn during a sports performance.
- In churches and other facilities of religious communities.
- In concert halls, theaters and other similar venues.
- In cinemas, museums, galleries and other similar spaces.
- In the premises used for organizing congresses, trade fairs and other similar events.
- Even in quick visits by parents, for example to early childhood education and school facilities.
Restrictions on visits to social and health services units
It is recommended that visits to social and health care units be limited to one person at a time and should not exceed 15 minutes. Visits are not prohibited, but the recommendation aims at reducing the risk of infection. We recommend meeting outdoors if possible. Face masks, safety gaps and good hand hygiene should be used during the visits. We recommend that you bring a face mask when you come to the social and health care unit as a patient or a guest.
The mask recommendation in secondary schools and secondary level education institutions is valid from sixth graders onwards. The mask recommendation for schools applies to all staff. Municipalities provide masks for schools.
Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, seving time and customer capacity
A restaurant, where alcohol consumption is the main business, can have only one-third of the customer seats n use. Alcohol may be served from 7 am to 5 pm, and the permitted opening hours are from 5 am to 6 pm. Other restaurants can use half of the customer seats. Serving is allowed from 7 am to 5 pm and the permitted opening hours for restaurant guests are from 5 am to 7 pm.
In restaurants, customers must be instructed to sit down when indoors. Thus, for example, karaoke and dancing are prohibited.
The above restrictions do not apply to operating staff canteens or selling takeaway food to customers.
Public premises and customer premises
Sections 58 c, d and e of the Communicable Diseases Act increase the obligations for managers and operators of premises open to the public and customer premises.
The following must be arranged at all public and private customer premises:
- be able to clean one’s hands either by washing hands or with hand sanitizers.
- have hygiene instructions on display
- possible customer seats must be placed at sufficient distances from each other, and there must be generally as much space around customer seats as possible
- must enhance the cleaning of spaces and surfaces from the normal levels
Customers and participants must be able to avoid close contact with each other effectively. The restriction applies to indoor spaces used for the simultaneous stay of more than 10 participants and to restricted outdoor spaces used for the activities of more than 50 participants. An operator may fulfill its obligations by limiting the number of customers, by arranging customer locations or facilities. For example, in waiting areas, the distance between seats should be 2 meters. Instructions for action should be displayed at the site for customers to see.
In high-risk customer premises, operators are encouraged to use customer volume restrictions to ensure that operations can be conducted in a safe manner. The recommendation applies to the following conditions:
- indoor spaces for team sports, group sports, contact sports and other similar sports, as well as gyms and other similar indoor sports facilities
- Public saunas, pool areas of indoors and outdoor swimming pools, spas and their changing rooms
- dance venues and facilities for choral singing, amateur theater and other similar group activities
- amusement and theme parks, amusements and zoo interiors
- indoor playgrounds and indoor playgrounds
- general living quarters of shopping centers, with the exception of retail business premises and premises used for the provision of services.
The decision does not apply to professional sport or activities covered by private or family life.
Public spaces managed by municipalities that are open to the public must comply with the requirements of section 58 d of the Communicable Diseases Act, i.e. those who carry out business on the premises must actually be able to avoid close contact with others. The group activities of adult educational centers are still suspended.
Facilities for social and health services, early childhood education, primary education and necessary secondary education will be kept open. For example, the necessary use of transaction machines in libraries and the distribution of face masks for the disadvantaged will also continue. Municipalities have defined facilities that provide essential services that are kept open in a limited and safe manner.
Libraries remain open with restrictive measures. Visits to the library are limited to a maximum of 15 minutes. Youth facilities may be open to persons under the age of 18 so that the conditions of section 58d of the Communicable Diseases Act are met.
Hobbies and recreational activities
All hobbies and recreational activities for adults and for those born in 2007 and before have been suspended.
Guided recreational activities for children born in 2008 and beyond may continue without limitations.
Outdoor hobbies for people under the age of 20 can continue starting from April 19 in small groups of up to 10 people. Safety instructions and distances must continue to be observed at all exercise sites.
It is not intended to limit those outdoor hobbies for up to 6 people in the open air where the safety distances and instructions are genuinely realized.
Professional sports are not hobbies within the meaning of this. Professional sports are defined on the Olympic Committee’s website. You should not come to any exercise site if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
Hobbies for children and young people must follow the recommendations for recreational activities. We recommend each actor to further improve health safety. Solutions for hobbies can be, for example:
- Mixing of groups is reduced.
- Hugging, shouting and unnecessary gathering are avoided.
- The entrance is staggered.
- The size of the groups is reduced.
- Safety distances are increased through space arrangements.
- Exercises and activities are moved outdoors.
- Some hobbies are carried out remotely.
- The content of the exercises is changed.
The following principles shall apply to the indoor activities of children and young people:
- The composition of the hobby group is well-established and based on pre-registration.
- For hobbies for those born in 2008 and after, group sizes are not limited.
- In addition, the health and safety guidelines issued by the Olympic Committee on safety distances, hand hygiene and the use of face masks are followed.
- Instructors and participants over the age of 12 will wear a face mask if there is no health impediment to the use of the face mask. The use of a face mask is required at other times except during sports performances.
- The operation is carried out in such a way that close contacts can be avoided or significantly reduced.
- The size of the hobby group must be dimensioned so that participants can maintain a safety distance. However, in large spaces, several groups can operate so that the groups are not in contact with each other.
- The organizer of the activity is responsible for sizing and supervising the group size and supervising other instructions.
- Poeple who are dropping off and picking up participants to the hobby, like parents or guardins, do not come indoors. Special arrangements may be made for the placement of pre-school children.
- In all activities, the use of the dressing and washing facilities is limited to what is strictly necessary.
The Joint Authority calls for special caution if it is necessary to travel to other areas of the epidemic that are experiencing acceleration or spreading phase of the epidemic. THL recommends avoiding travel to Brazil, Portugal, Britain, Ireland and South Africa due to coronavirus variants. Also, all other travel abroad should be limited to what is only necessary.
Passengers returning from abroad are recommended a voluntary 14-day quarantine, which can be shortened by two coronavirus tests. The first test is taken at border (for instance at the airport) and the second no earlier than 72 hours after arrival in the country.
While waiting the test results, self-quarantine must be maintained at home or place of stay. If both tests are negative, voluntary quarantine may be suspended.
Voluntary and asymptomatic close contact quarantine prescribed by an infectious disease physician lasts for 14 days. Home isolation for a patient with mild corona infection is minimum 10 days. Before the end of isolation, the patient should be asymptomatic for two days. The quarantine of those living in the same household is 14 days.
Koronavilkku mobile app
The Joint Authority recommends downloading the Koronavilkku-application. Using it together we can prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Corona Cooperation Group
The Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing’s corona cooperation group meets regularly. It includes representation from the Joint Authority, the municipalities in the region, the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland, the ELY-Center and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. The situation is monitored daily in the Group and new instructions are issued if necessary.
Tuomo Nieminen, Chairman, Chief Medical Officer, Head of Service, Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing
Ville Lehtinen, Vice Chairman, Chief Infectious Disease, Physician Responsible for Infectious Diseases, Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing
Pekka Timonen, Mayor of Lahti
Osmo Pieski, Mayor of Orimattila
Tiina Granqvist, Director of Education, Lahti
Jukka Majuri, doctor responsible for infectious diseases, Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing
Juha Saarenpää, doctor responsible for infectious diseases, Heinola
Representative of the ELY Center
Representative of the Department of Health and Welfare
Representative of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland