The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends the use of a face mask in public indoor areas whenever a person is not fully vaccinated or has not contracted COVID-19 in the previous six months. The mask should also always be worn on the way to the coronavirus test and while waiting for the test results, if there is a necessary reason to go outside the home.
The use of a face mask is recommended for everyone, despite vaccine protection in situations where the risk of coronavirus infection and transmission potential is increased. Therefore, the use of face masks is recommended in public transport and in indoor public places where there are many people in close proximity to each other, such as indoor public events, religious gatherings and restaurants.
In addition, the recommendation to use a face mask also applies in all situations where it is difficult to avoid close contact. The use of a face mask is also recommended in outdoor situations of prolonged congestion. The recommendations apply to everyone aged 12 and over.
The recommendation on the use of face masks has been prepared using the risk scorecard of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), an assessment of the risk associated with coronavirus at events and gatherings.
Recommendations for city staff on the use of face masks will be set out separately and communicated later this week.
The recommendations on the use of face masks for social and health care staff, visitors and teachers will continue until further notice. The new recommendations for education will be confirmed once the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education have issued a national recommendation.
Reporting on exposures and infections in daycare centres, schools and educational institutes ends
Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa have decided to stop reporting exposure data from daycare centres, schools and educational institutions because the data is no longer comparable with the earlier data.
In September, THL updated its guidelines on coronavirus testing for children under 12 and on the definition of coronavirus exposure in schools, educational institutions and early childhood education. Due to the significant changes in the testing guideline and infection tracking, reporting of exposure events is no longer appropriate.
In exposure situations in daycare centres, schools and educational institutions, the THL guidelines state that only the actual exposed persons, i.e. those with whom the coronavirus-infected person has actually been in close contact, should be identified. We will continue to contact guardians about exposures and give instructions on what to do.