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Uusimaa Covid-19 gathering restrictions end next week

The end of limits on public gatherings in Uusimaa on 1 October means the whole of Finland will be free of restrictions on assembly.

Haltioitunutta yleisöä Machine Gun Kellyn keikan eturivissä.
Public gatherings will no longer be limited from 1 October across Finland. Image: Nelli Kenttä / Yle

Restrictions on gatherings and public events in Uusimaa will end next week, the Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) has announced.

The Southern Finland Avi took the decision after the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Coronavirus Coordination Group proposed allowing the current limits on gatherings to expire on 30 September.

Once Uusimaa's restrictions end on Friday 1 October, there will no longer be any limits on assembly imposed by Regional State Administrative Agencies in any part of Finland.

Current recommendations on remote working and mask wearing will remain in place, as will hygiene requirements for indoor venues, the Southern Finland Avi said.

This means that indoor facilities like shopping centres, sports facilities, museums, theatres and libraries will still have to provide hand disinfection facilities and ensure that service users and customers are kept as far apart as reasonably possible, the Avi said.

The capital region's Covid coordination group had asked for swimming pools, gyms and group exercise classes to be exempted from safety distance requirements and other measures from the beginning of October.

Improving situation

Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District's (HUS) acting chief medical officer Jari Petäjä said on Tuesday that the capital region's coordination group made the decision to call for the ending of the restrictions because of the improving pandemic situation in and around Helsinki.

The number of coronavirus-infected people requiring hospital care has remained at a relatively low level for a sustained period of time, Petäjä said.

"Five or fewer than five patients have needed intensive care in recent days, and there have been just over 20 [coronavirus] patients in the wards," he said, adding that the current numbers are easily manageable by the HUS system.

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