Wednesday 5/12/21
MAY DAY

Police warn that no large gatherings are allowed to celebrate Vappu

Authorities also asked parents to remind their children not to gather in large groups in public places.
Young students celebrating Vappu before the pandemic, in Tampere in 2017. Photo: Laura-Vanzo.
Young students celebrating Vappu before the pandemic, in Tampere in 2017. Photo: Laura-Vanzo/file photo.

The police warn that this year the traditional mass celebrations of May Day (Vappu, for Finns), a holiday that normally brings together thousands of people outdoors, will not be allowed.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the situation will be especially monitored in the Helsinki area and its surroundings, where the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland has extended the restriction on general gatherings of no more than six people until 16 May.

In a press release, the National Police Board appealed to the public to follow the instructions and restrictions issued by the authorities in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

The police say they "hope" that they "will not have to disband forbidden gatherings" on May Day.

The police also asked parents to remind their children not to gather in large groups in public places.

Finnish security forces admit that these rules may cause "frustration or stress", especially among young people, but reminds them that the only goal is to protect everyone's health.

”Responsible behaviour starts with us,” says Chief Inspector Vesa Pihajoki from the National Police Board.

Celebrate in your own 'bubble'

Like last year, the Finnish government and the City of Helsinki recommend to avoid gatherings and to only celebrate May Day "remotely and with the immediate circle."

People are also advised to avoid all activities where several people who do not belong to each other’s immediate circle spend time together in one place.

Although gatherings such as these are not subject to meeting restrictions, avoiding all close contact is still strongly recommended by the authorities.

The police are participating in the May Day communication campaign coordinated by the Prime Minister's Office. The campaign focuses on encouraging people to celebrate May Day in their own ‘bubbles’.

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