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Finland keeps rules on large gatherings

Earlier in the week there had been confusion over Finland's guidelines on big events.

Saarihelvetti
Festivals like Tampere's SaariHelvetti were organised in August after restrictions on larger events were lifted. Image: Jussi Mankkinen / Yle

Finland is tightening restrictions on large events, confirmed regional administrative agencies on Wednesday after a stray zero in a press release caused confusion earlier in the week.

On Monday the agencies had announced that the limit on gatherings would be 50, with events larger than that requiring spcial distancing measures and plentiful hand gel. On Wednesday they clarified that gatherings of more than 50 people would be permitted, so long as organisers ensured social distancing is possible and antibacterial gel is easily available.

The confusion arose when the Ministry for Health and Social Affairs mistakenly sent guidance that events of more than 50 would require such measures, when they had meant to say 500.

However after evaluating the guidance and consulting their own medical experts, the agencies decided to stick with the 50 limit and stricter conditions for events larger than that.

On Wednesday the agencies confirmed that there is no upper limit on capacity for events where 50 or more people gather, so long as those conditions are met, said the agencies.

Guidance for organising those events remains the same as it has been since May.

The ban on events of more than 500 people was lifted from 1 August.

EDIT An earlier version of this story said that Finland was not tightening restrictions on large events. It has now been edited throughout as the story developed.

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