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New Lapland recommendation: Wear masks at restaurants and tourist sites

Following the corona infection chain that started at Ylläs in Lapland, local health authorities are urging people to wear face masks.

Koronavilkun käyttäjä lasemalaiturilla.
Lapland's new mask recommendation for restaurants and tourists sites was published on Friday. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle
Yle News

Lapland health officials are now recommending that people wear masks in restaurants, bars, clubs and indoor tourist attractions.

The recommendation was announced on Friday by the Lapland Hospital District and the Länsi-Pohja healthcare district together with the region's travel and restaurant industry representatives.

"Finnish Lapland’s corona situation is still calm and under control, and the purpose of recommending that people wear masks is to ensure that it remains calm and under control," said Markku Broas, chief infection doctor for the Lapland Hospital District.

As of Friday, 41 people had tested positive for the corona virus in an infection chain that started in Ylläs, a tourist town in Lapland currently full of travellers experiencing the spectacular vistas as trees change colour in the autumn.

The indoor mask-wearing guideline applies to tourists and the local population alike.

"In the background is the scope of the infection chain in Ylläs," said Broas.

According to the recommendation, employees and customers should wear masks inside restaurants and at indoor tourist destinations. Those working in customer service and those who are in contact with customers should wear a mask if they don’t have protective plexiglass.

Eating and drinking with a mask

How does one eat or drink with a face mask?

"While eating or drinking, the mask can be removed, but it's important to stay at one’s table and with one’s own company," advised Broas. "This is the new normal," he added.

Lapland’s new mask recommendation follows on the recommendation to wear a mask while using public transit that's in effect throughout Finland. Last spring Lapland’s healthcare district recommended that those in risk groups wear a mask in situations where it wasn't possible to maintain a distance between people.

"That guideline is still in effect," said Broas.

Restaurant owners and event organisers are being asked to ensure that restaurant premises have adequate ventilation as well as the possibility for customers and groups of customers to stay in one certain area in order to socially isolate. If possible, restaurateurs and event organisers are also asked to collect contact information from customers for possible corona infection tracing.

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