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Life continues: What you need to know when Finland opens up

Finland takes a big step forward in relaxing emergency measures on Monday.

Kahvilat avautuvat 1.6.2020.
Image: Markku Rantala / Yle

Finland restarts public life on Monday, 1 June as the country lifts many restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. Here's a list of what will change.

1. Museums

Museums will open on Monday. Helsinki’s large museums, such as Kiasma, HAM and Ateneum, will welcome visitors on Tuesday as they are usually closed on Mondays. Museums have advised visitors to purchase tickets in advance or be prepared to pay by card as they will not accept cash.

2. Amusement parks

Visitors will have to wait until the second week of June to visit some amusement parks. Helsinki’s Linnanmäki amusement park opens on 12 June, Särkänniemi (Tampere) on 13 June and Tykkimäki (Kouvola) on 6 June.

Linnanmäki plans to limit visitors to a quarter of regular volumes and said measures will be in place to keep parkgoers separated while they wait in line as well as on rides.

3. Restaurants and cafés

Dine-in customers can now visit restaurants after a two-month break. Maximum occupancy rates are now half of previously allowed levels. This directive does not include outside sitting areas. Restaurants may serve customers from 6am to 11pm, with alcohol sales shutting off at 10pm.

4. Swimming pools and public saunas

Indoor and outdoor pools are permitted to open, though some pools in Helsinki have opted to stay closed until August. In the capital residents can get back in the water at Kumpula outdoor swimming pool, the Swimming Stadium in Töölö and Allas Sea Pool.

The Swimming Stadium and Kumpula have said they will cap entry at 500 visitors.

While public saunas are allowed to open, many public pools have said their saunas will remain off-limits for swimmers.

5. Recreational facilities and summer camps

Children’s camps and sports hobbies resume on Monday. Helsinki’s public parks will, for example, kick off their free summer lunch programme for under-16s on Monday.

6. Sports competitions

Athletic games, such as ball sports, will be permitted, provided the players and audience don’t swell beyond 500 people.

7. Theatres

Though allowed to open, most major theatres, such as the Finnish National Theatre and Helsinki City Theatre, won’t be putting on shows until the autumn.

Most summer theatres have postponed their performances until 2021.

8. Libraries and cultural centres

Libraries have been open for three weeks, but as of Monday patrons will once again be able to access reading areas, computer desks and silent spaces. Some libraries have announced extensions to their summer opening hours.

Library buses will also make their rounds throughout Helsinki this summer, stopping at beaches and market squares on the way.

9. Crowds grow to 50 people

Emergency measures called for no more than ten people in one place. But as of Monday indoor and outdoor public gatherings may include up to 50 people. This rule also applies to activities such as demonstrations.

This restriction does not apply to private gatherings, although officials don’t recommend such events exceeding 50 people either. Mass events with up to 500 people will be permitted if organisers commit to social distancing arrangements.

10. Travel

Residents may travel domestically as long as they comply with safety guidelines to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

The government still recommends that Finns avoid foreign travel. Residents returning from abroad are still advised to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has urged the government to reach an agreement on foreign travel restrictions by Wednesday.

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