The restrictions put in place to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic are being phased out gradually and in a controlled manner starting on 1 June. From the beginning of June, certain restrictions will be alleviated, like the restrictions on gatherings, events and public spaces. Restaurants and cafes will also be reopened to customers with certain restrictions. Also travel within Finland is allowed as long as health and safety guidelines relating to coronavirus are observed.
Gatherings and public events
Public events with a maximum of 50 persons will be allowed as of 1 June. The restrictions apply to public events and public meetings organised indoors and outdoors.
Public meetings include demonstrations and other events that are open to all and that are organised to exercise the right of freedom of assembly. Public events include entertainment events, competitions, performances or other similar events that are open to the public. People should also comply with guidelines on safe distances and hygiene at these events.
Public events and public meetings of more than 50 and a maximum of 500 persons in indoor and enclosed outdoor spaces can be organised under special arrangements. The Regional State Administrative Agencies require that such meetings and events be organised in accordance with the guidelines on the prevention of coronavirus infections issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on 14 May 2020 (available in Finnish and Swedish). Public events with more than 500 persons are prohibited until 31 July.
The police will continue to monitor compliance with the restrictions on gatherings imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agencies in accordance with their powers.
Public premises are reopening
Public premises that have been closed will reopen in a controlled manner starting in the beginning of June. These include national and municipal museums, theatres, the National Opera, cultural venues, libraries, mobile libraries, services for customers and researchers at the National Archives, hobby and leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities, youth centres, clubs, organisations’ meeting rooms, rehabilitative work facilities and workshops, among others.
For example, concerts, theatre performances, film showings, festivals and cultural events are considered public events. These are subject to the decisions on restrictions made by the Regional State Administrative Agencies under the Communicable Diseases Act.
The continuous normal activities of libraries and museums, on the other hand, are not considered public events and are therefore not subject to the restrictions on gatherings. However, the restrictions on public events do apply to events organised by libraries and museums. At all events, the maximum limit of 50 attendees currently in force, or 500 attendees with special arrangements, must be observed.
Sports competitions and series may be resumed with special arrangements starting in the beginning of June, in accordance with the restrictions on the number of persons and other restrictions on public events and with the guidelines of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The restrictions on public events do not apply to the normal, continuous activities of swimming pools and sports facilities. However, the operators of sports halls and sports facilities must assess how the guidelines from the authorities can best be applied to the local conditions in order to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
Restaurants and cafes are reopening with certain restrictions
On 1 June, restaurants and cafes throughout the country will be reopened to customers with certain restrictions. The Act on Temporarily Amending the Communicable Diseases Act will enter into force at the same time and be applicable between 1 June 2020 and 31 October 2020.
Businesses serving food or beverages can be open between 6.00 and 23.00. The serving of alcoholic beverages is permitted only between 9.00 and 22.00. The maximum number of customers inside restaurants is limited to half of normal number.
The Government must regularly assess whether the restrictions laid down in the act and the decree remain necessary in different areas of the country to prevent the spread of the communicable disease.
Businesses serving food or beverages must step up their level of hygiene and ensure adequate distances between customers. Every customer must have their own seat at a table or counter. Customers can pick up their purchases themselves at the counter, for example. However, they are not allowed to serve or dish out their own food or drinks, for example at a buffet table.
Travel within Finland allowed
Travel within Finland is allowed as long as health and safety guidelines relating to coronavirus are observed.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have drawn up guidelines for the safe reopening of domestic tourism in Finland. Tourism companies and tourists are responsible for adhering to the guidelines and for applying them to their activities.
Coronavirus: current restrictions – vn.fi
Frequently Asked Questions (in Finnish) – Regional Administrative Agencies
Guidance on the prevention of coronavirus infections in connection with public events and gatherings and the use of public premises (in Finnish)