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Here's what Finland's 3-week partial shutdown means in your region

Restrictions depend on whether a region is in the baseline, accelerating or community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Alakoululainen tekee matematiikan tehtäviä kotonaan.
All students in grades 7-9 in the Southern Finland region will move to remote learning from Monday. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Finland begins a three-week period of partial shutdown on Monday. The term used by authorities, sulkutila, is the Finnish equivalent of the words "shutdown" or "lockdown" used in many countries around the world.

In Finland however, at least for the time being, there is no curfew in place and outdoor movement is not restricted.

The shutdown will nevertheless bring many changes, especially to regions considered to be in the acceleration or community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Although the closure of bars and restaurants has progressed through Parliament over the past week, it had not yet received the final seal of approval as of Monday morning.

In this article, we outline the changes residents of Finland’s biggest cities can expect over the coming three weeks. If you are unsure about the meaning of some of the terms used, check out our useful guide to coronavirus terminology here.

Espoo

Espoo and the Helsinki University Hospital District (HUS) are considered to be in the community transmission phase of the epidemic, which is the highest of the three phases.

All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings are prohibited for a limited period of three weeks, with a maximum of 6 people permitted to attend essential public events and meetings.

Story continues after the photo.

Ihmisiä ulkoilemassa meren rannalla.
Public gatherings are limited to six people in the Uusimaa region. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Grades 7-9 and high school students in the city will move to remote learning from Monday 8 March until 28 March in the entire region of Southern Finland.

All customer facilities open to the public, such as gyms and indoor sports facilities, will be closed - with the exception of hobbies for children aged 12 and under.

Helsinki

Helsinki and the Helsinki University Hospital District (HUS) are considered to be in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings are prohibited for a limited period of three weeks, with a maximum of 6 people permitted to attend essential public events and meetings.

Grades 7-9 and high school students will move to remote learning from Monday 8 March until 28 March in the entire region of Southern Finland.

Story continues after the photo.

Nuorten takkeja naulakossa Kulosaaren yhteiskoululla helmikuussa.
Grades 7-9 move to remote learning from Monday. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
All customer facilities open to the public, such as gyms and indoor sports facilities, will be closed - with the exception of hobbies for children aged 12 and under.

Libraries in the capital can offer a limited service.

Hämeenlinna

The city of Hämeenlinna and the wider region’s Kanta-Häme Hospital District are considered to be in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Gatherings for public events and general meetings are limited to a maximum of 6 people by order of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland (Avi).

It is recommended in the region that grades 7-9 and high school students move to remote learning from Monday 8 March until 28 March, and only essential contact teaching is permitted.

Story continues after the photo.

Hämeenlinnan uimahallin julkisivu.
File photo of Hämeenlinna swimming pool. Image: Ville Välimäki / Yle
The Avi also recommends that public spaces be closed whenever possible.

It is recommended that all customer facilities open to the public, such as gyms and indoor sports facilities, be closed - with the exception of hobbies for children aged 12 and under.

The swimming pools in Hämeenlinna and Lammi and gyms run by the city will be closed until 28 March.

Joensuu

The North Karelia regional coronavirus coordination group has outlined that the Joensuu region is in the accelerating phase. The rest of the North Karelia region is considered to be at the basic level of the epidemic.

In primary schools, upper secondary schools and vocational colleges, teaching will continue with contact lessons in schools. However, high school students (grades 10-12) will continue with remote learning education for the week following the ski week holiday. This is a precautionary measure aimed at ensuring the smooth running of the student examinations.

Public events for more than 20 people are prohibited both indoors and outdoors.

Adult indoor exercise has been suspended in the city’s sports facilities, as well as in the gyms run by the city. The number of customers allowed into the swimming pools is limited. Private gyms can remain open.

Jyväskylä

The city of Jyväskylä is in the accelerating phase, while the wider Central Finland region is considered to be at the baseline level of the epidemic.

According to the current ruling of the Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI), the number of people permitted at public events and general meetings both indoors and outdoors is limited to 10. This order is valid throughout the month of March.

Grades 7-9 within the city of Jyväskylä will return to classrooms after the ski holiday week, while vocational schools and high schools will move to remote learning for the next three weeks from Monday. Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) will continue with remote learning until the end of April.

Story continues after the photo.

Jyväskylän kaupungintalon edustalla liehuu Jyväskylä-lippuja.
File photo of Jyväskylä city hall. Image: Heli Kaski / Yle
City-owned swimming pools as well as the city’s gyms will be closed throughout March. All indoor group exercise for people over the age of 18 is recommended to be suspended for the duration of March.

Libraries can provide a limited service.

Kajaani

Kajaani and the Kainuu hospital district are at the baseline level of the epidemic. The coronavirus situation in the region is considered to be one of the best in the country.

The Regional State Administrative Agency has prohibited the holding of public events and general meetings for more than 20 people. It is strongly recommended that the same restriction be followed for private events. The order is valid until the end of March.

Story continues after the photo.

9-luokkalaisia maskeissa tunnilla
School lessons will continue as normal in the Kainuu region. Image: Antti Tauriainen / Yle
Instead of adult group hobbies, individual sports and outdoor sports are recommended. Group hobbies for children under 12 can continue. Group exercise for up to 20 people is only recommended for 12-17 year olds.

There is no distance learning recommendation in Kainuu, rather schools continue their teaching as normal.

Kokkola

Kokkola and the Central Ostrobothnia Hospital District are at the baseline level of the epidemic.

Public gatherings and meetings within the region are limited to 20 people. The Regional State Administrative Agency also strongly recommends avoiding all public gatherings that are not essential.

The City of Kokkola recommends that private events of more than 10 people be avoided.

Classroom teaching continues in Kokkola as normal in both primary and secondary schools. A recommendation on the wearing of face masks will take effect in high schools.

The city's sports facilities are open, but it is recommended that indoor group activities for people over the age of 20 be discontinued. Hobbies for children and young people can continue as normally, but it is recommended that competitions take place without spectators.

Kotka, Kouvola

The Kymenlaakso region and the cities of Kotka and Kouvola are in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

The Kymenlaakso Regional Coronavirus Coordination Group has recommended that private events and family celebrations should be limited to no more than six people, while the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland has banned all public events for more than 6 people until the end of March.

Grades 7-9 will move to remote learning from Monday in both cites. In Kotka, high school students will return to the classroom on Monday after the ski holiday break. The transition to remote learning will be implemented in a controlled manner, so that all the arrangements related to the beginning of remote learning will be in place by Wednesday 10 March.

Story continues after the photo.

Oppilas kirjoittaa koulukirjaansa.
Grades 7-9 switch to remote learning. Image: Antro Valo / Yle
Remote learning at the Southeast Finland University of Applied Sciences Kotka and Kouvola campuses will remain in place until 31 March.

Public facilities (such as gyms, swimming pools and youth centres) will be closed to the public.

Hobby activities for primary school children can be continued so long as safety distances can be effectively maintained, but activities for ages 13 and above are suspended.

Lahti

The Päijät-Häme region is considered to be in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Grades 7-9 and high schools within the Päijät-Häme hospital district will move to remote learning from Monday for a period of three weeks. Contact lessons can be arranged for students who need them. Primary schools continue in classrooms.

The number of participants in public events and general meetings is limited to a maximum of 6 people.

The regional Avi has recommended that gyms and other private exercise venues be closed, except for the hobbies of children aged 12 and under. Outdoor group activities for adults, where safety intervals cannot be implemented, are also suspended.

Libraries remain open with restrictive measures in place. Visits to a library in the region are limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.

Lappeenranta

The South Karelian hospital district is currently in the community transmission phase of the epidemic, which is the highest level of the three phases.

There is a six-person limit on all public events and private gatherings.

Story continues after the photo.

Anonyymi Rauhaniemen sairaalan lähihoitaja kuvattuna lumisessa metsässä kasvoillaan suojamaski..
Lappeenranta is in the community transmission phase. Image: Ilkka Klemola / Yle
The Regional State Administrative Agency has ordered that grades 7-9 move to remote learning, but that primary school students as well as students that require support can continue in classrooms.

High schools and vocational colleges will also move to remote learning.

Libraries in the region will only operate a pick-up service.

Group hobbies for adults and people under the age of 20 will be suspended in the city's indoor sports facilities, but outdoor hobbies for people under the age of 20 may continue.

Hobbies for children 12 and below can continue if safety distances can be effectively maintained. The city’s swimming pools and indoor sports facilities will be closed to the public.

Mikkeli

The city of Mikkeli and the wider South Savo hospital district Essote are currently in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

All gatherings of more than six people are prohibited in the region by order of the Eastern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency, and it is recommended that public facilities be closed or that the number of people be limited.

In Mikkeli, primary schools and grades 7-9 will remain in the classroom. High schools and vocational colleges will move to remote learning from 8 March until 5 April.

Libraries and museums will remain open, but can only accommodate a maximum of 10 people at a time.

Youth facilities are open, but are also limited to a maximum of 10 people at a time.

Oulu

Oulu and the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District are in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

Public events in the city Oulu are limited to a maximum of six people starting from Monday.

Story continues after the photo.

Oulussa Raksilan uimahalli on nyt tyhjillään, ovet avautuvat taas kesäkuun 1. päivä.
Swimming pools and other sports facilities in Oulu will close from Monday. Image: Päivi Seeskorpi / Yle
Primary schools and grades 7-9 remain in classrooms, despite the fact that Oulu is currently in the accelerating phase. Vocational colleges will move to remote learning.

Swimming pools, gyms and other city-run indoor sports facilities will be closed until 22 March, with an exception in place for children’s hobbies.

Pori

Pori and the Satakunta Hospital District are currently considered to be in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

There is a six-person limit on public events and private gatherings in the region.

Grades 7-9 in the city of Pori switched to remote learning from 4 March. High schools will be remote from 1 to 31 March. Vocational colleges and universities have also already moved to remote learning.

In Pori, swimming pools and the city's indoor sports facilities have been closed for the time being with certain exceptions. Hobby activities for primary school children and younger people can continue, if safety distances are maintained.

Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi and the Lapland Hospital District are observing restrictions in line with the community transmission phase of the epidemic, even though the region is not considered to be in the community transmission phase.

The Lapland Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) has decided that public gatherings must be limited to a maximum of six people until 28 March.

Grades 7-9 will continue in classrooms but high schools in the city of Rovaniemi will switch to remote learning after returning from the ski week holiday on 15 March. Vocational colleges will also move to remote learning from 15 to 26 March.

Story continues after the photo.

Ett klistermärke på ett golv som påminner om att man ska hålla säkerhetsavstånd.
Authorities across the country emphasise the need to maintain safety distances. Image: Yle / Christoffer Westerlund
Avi recommends that indoor hobbies for people over the age of 16 be suspended until 28 March, although primary school-age children can continue to practice hobbies in accordance with safety guidelines.

The use of masks, hand hygiene and safety distances are strongly recommended for young people in youth facilities.

Savonlinna

The city of Savonlinna and the South Savo Hospital District are currently in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

Despite the acceleration phase, the coronavirus situation within the hospital district is generally considered to be good and calming down, according to Jaana Luukkonen, chief physician of the hospital district.

All gatherings of more than six people are prohibited, as per an order made by the Eastern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency.

Remote learning in place for all higher education institutions and high schools in the region, but grades 7-9 will be in classrooms.

Seinäjoki

Seinäjoki and the South Ostrobothnia Hospital District are currently in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

Public gatherings are limited to 10 people, and the Regional State Administrative Agency strongly recommends avoiding all gatherings that are not essential.

In Seinäjoki, primary schools, grades 7-9 and high schools continue in classrooms while vocational colleges will move to remote learning.

The Seinäjoki indoor swimming pool is open as normal, but city authorities have said that they will monitor the number of visitors. Saunas, gym and lounges are closed, and the Regional State Administrative Agency has not ordered private gyms or sports facilities to close or restrict customer access.

Tampere

Tampere and the Pirkanmaa Hospital District are in the accelerating phase of the epidemic.

All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings in the city of Tampere are limited to a maximum of 6 people for the next three weeks.

Grades 7-9 and high schools will move to remote learning from Monday, with an exception in place for students that require special support. Colleges and universities in the region will continue with remote learning, with the exception of compulsory work placements.

Story continues after the photo.

Kirjoja Turun pääkirjaston varaushyllyssä noutoa odottamassa.
Libraries operate a limited service. Image: Paula Collin / Yle
Sports facilities, including gyms, are closed in the region until 28 March. Indoor recreational activities for children and young people, including ice rinks and swimming pools, are open if general safety guidelines are observed.

In libraries, it is only possible to pick up by reservation, return borrowed material and use the computer for a maximum of 15 mins.

Museums and youth facilities are closed.

Turku

Turku and the Hospital District of Southwest Finland is currently in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Grades 7-9 will move to remote learning from 8 to 28 March, with the exception of small groups in preparatory education and special support, which continue in classrooms. High school and vocational colleges are also moving to remote learning.

In the city of Turku, all group indoor hobby activities for adults are suspended but hobbies can continue for children aged 12 and under, if safety distances are observed.

Libraries will continue to provide limited services, and only 10 customers are permitted to enter library buildings at any one time.

Vaasa

Vaasa and the regional hospital district are in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Public gatherings are limited to 6 people until 31 March, and the Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) strongly recommends avoiding all gatherings that are not essential.

Grades 7-9 and high schools in the city of Vaasa will move to remote learning from Monday 8 March, until 28 March. Face masks will be distributed to sixth graders for use during the school day.

Story continues after the photo.

Vaasan keskussairaalan päivystyspoliklinikka
Vaasa is in the community transmission phase of the epidemic. Image: Hans-Mikael Holmgren / Yle
The suspension of hobbies for people over the age of 20 continues until 31 March at all city-run sports facilities.

Vaasa swimming pool remains open, but admission will be restricted if there are a lot of customers.

The Regional State Administrative Agency has not ordered private gyms or sports facilities to close or to restrict the number of customers.

Vantaa

Vantaa and the Helsinki University Hospital District are in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

All indoor and outdoor public events and general meetings are limited to a maximum of 6 people.

Grades 7-9 and high school students will move to remote learning from Monday 8 March until 28 March in the entire region of Southern Finland.

All customer facilities open to the public, such as gyms and indoor sports facilities, will be closed - with the exception of hobbies for children aged 12 and under.

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