Sunday 31.05.2020

Finland to ease restrictions on public gatherings from 1 June

Public events of up to 500 people will be permitted in indoor and enclosed outdoor spaces "provided that safety can be ensured," Government says.
People at Helsinki's main library Oodi. Photo: Ali Abaday.
People at Helsinki's main library Oodi. Photo: Ali Abaday.

Finland is preparing to relax restrictions concerning the organization of public meetings and events.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued a circular to the Regional State Administrative Agencies on how to implement the guidelines of the relevant government resolution at public events and gatherings. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have prepared general guidelines on indoor and outdoor events.

The restrictions on gatherings will be eased from 1 June in line with the government resolution, the Government said in a press release.

The restriction on the number of people at public events will be amended from the current 10 to a maximum of 50. The instructions issued by the authorities on how to organise public events in a safe manner must be followed. 

However, Government also says it will be "permitted to organise public events of more than 50 people in indoor and enclosed outdoor spaces, provided that safety can be ensured by limiting the number of visitors, maintaining safe distances and providing hygiene instructions."

In any case, all public events with more than 500 attendees are prohibited, without exception, until 31 July.

The recommendations

The main principles of the guidelines issued by the Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture are the same at all events —do not attend the event when ill, remember to wash your hands and cough into your sleeve, clean during and after the event, and keep a safe distance of 1-2 meters from other people.

The Regional State Administrative Agencies make the actual general-level decisions on restrictions regarding public events and gatherings, and the related requirements in their operating areas.

Organisers of events and activities are always responsible for applying the guidelines in detail. They can issue more detailed and situation, activity or event-specific recommendations that take account of the decisions made by the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

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