Current recommendations and restrictions in Espoo

The coronavirus epidemic is currently in the acceleration phase in Espoo and the rest of the capital region. Further information about the criteria for the acceleration phase is available at the end of this page.

This page provides a compilation of the recommendations and restrictions that are currently in force in Espoo with regard to the coronavirus epidemic.

In addition to these recommendations, the City of Espoo’s sectors and services have their own special recommendations and exceptional opening hours and service channels. Related information is available on the website of these services.

Most of these recommendations and restrictions are largely in force until further notice.

On this page:

Use of face masks is recommended for everyone over 12 years of age
Recreational activities
Remote work is widely recommended
Visitor recommendations at social welfare and health care units
Service centres for senior citizens are closed
Regulations concerning customer premises
Public spaces of the city
Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, alcohol serving times and customer capacity
Public events
Private events
National recommendations on travel
Secondary school pupils switched to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021
Upper secondary school students switched to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021
Recommendations of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are observed in early childhood education and schools
Face mask recommendation for early childhood education and teaching staff
Face mask recommendation for pupils in grades 6–10
Coronavirus-related precautions at universities

Use of face masks is recommended for everyone over 12 years of age

The recommendation on the use of face masks will remain in force until further notice.

The recommendation does not apply to persons who cannot wear a face mask for health-related reasons.

The recommendation applies to the following spaces and situations:

  • Public transport such as trains, buses and the metro
  • Public events and spaces such as shops and banks
  • All physical encounters at workplaces and when moving about the workplace
  • The city’s services such as social and health services
  • Libraries
  • Sports and cultural events and all recreational facilities
  • In recreational activites, except during physical activity
  • Upper secondary education, such as general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions, as well as universities
  • Schools, pupils in grades 6–10, unless they are unable to wear a mask for health reasons. The city provides pupils with masks, but they can also use their own masks.
  • The city provides masks for secondary school pupils.
  • Parents dropping off and picking up their children at early childhood education units
  • Early childhood education and teaching staff when indoors
  • Social welfare and health care personnel working with patients and clients
  • When travelling to a coronavirus testing site and while waiting for the results if it is necessary to leave home
  • When arriving in Finland from a risk area, when travelling from the arrival point to quarantine and if it is necessary to leave home during quarantine
  • In other situations where it is not possible to avoid close contact.
  • Further information: Distribution of free face masks to people with low income
  • Finnish institute for health and welfare: instructions on mask use

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Recreational activities

The restriction will be in force until further notice.

The indoor and outdoor premises of the cities can be used for guided recreational activities of people of all ages to a limited degree. The health safety principles must be observed in operations. Decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland on the number of participants in public events concern the spectators of the competitions.

As of 1 July, city-managed indoor and outdoor sports facilities have been opened to adult sports and competitive activities to a limited degree, too. Up to half of the normal number of customers can be admitted to sports facilities and group sports. For more information: City gyms reopen on 1 July

In addition to day camps for children and young people, overnight camp activities are possible. The health security instructions applicable to recreational activities must be observed in the context of these activities.

Youth work activities are permitted outside in limited groups.

All forms of activities must be organised without close contact. All activities must comply with the following principles:

  • All activities comply with the safety guidelines that have been issued by authorities – and in the case of sports, also those issued by the Olympic Committee – with regard to safe distances, hand hygiene and the use of face masks.
  • Coaches and participants over 12 years of age wear masks, unless a person is unable to wear a mask for health reasons. Mask use is required at all times, except during physical activity.
  • All activities are arranged in a way that allows participants to avoid or significantly reduce close contact with each other.
  • Group sizes should be reduced to ensure that the participants are able to maintain a safe distance from others. Several groups can be present at the same time in large spaces, as long as there is no contact between the groups.
  • The organiser of the activity is responsible for determining and monitoring appropriate group sizes and ensuring that all other safety guidelines are followed.
  • The use of changing and washing rooms should be limited to essential use only.
  • Guardians and other people who drop off and pick up participants may not enter the facilities. Special arrangements may be in place for children who are under school age.

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa strongly recommend that private operators also follow these restrictions and safety guidelines when organising recreational activities.

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Remote work is widely recommended

The recommendation will be in force until further notice.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group still recommends employers to arrange all tasks remotely wherever possible, even temporarily. If remote work is impossible, the employer is recommended to instruct the employees to use face masks in all workspaces, even where it is possible to maintain safe distances. Workplace meals and coffee breaks must be staggered. 

Persons who are unable to use a mask due to health reasons are not required to wear a mask. It is considered sufficient that such persons themselves state that they are unable to wear a mask.

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Visitor recommendations at social welfare and health care units

The recommendations will be in force until further notice.

Nursing homes and housing units

You must take particular care when visiting loved ones at our nursing homes and housing units. You can only visit our units if you are healthy and have no symptoms. We ask you to agree on your visits in advance with our staff.

Espoo Hospital

You must take particular care when visiting Espoo Hospital. You can only visit the hospital if you are healthy and have no symptoms.

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Service centres for senior citizens are closed

The restrictions will be in force until further notice.

All service centres for senior citizens are closed due to the coronavirus situation. Group exercise and other activities have been cancelled. We will provide information on the reopening of our service centres later.

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Regulations concerning customer premises

The regulations will be in force until 31 December 2021.

All public and private customer facilities must:

  • Offer customers the possibility to clean their hands either by washing or with hand sanitiser.
  • Have sufficient hygiene instructions on display.
  • Have possible customer seats placed at a sufficient distance from each other and also otherwise ensure that there is as much space as possible for people.
  • Enhance the cleaning of facilities and surfaces.

(Communicable Diseases Act, Section 58(c))

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Public spaces of the city

The restrictions are in effect until further notice.

The customer service facilities of municipalities have been opened, inluding library reading rooms, group use facilities and self-service services, as well as performance and teaching facilities for cultural facilities and the like. The rental of conference and meeting rooms is made possible in accordance with the public event restrictions of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. Health safety in customer service facilities should be taken care of through facility-specific arrangements.

The exhibition spaces of museums and cultural centres, as well as other exhibition spaces , will be opened to a small number of customers in a way that visitors can actually maintain a safe distance of at least two meters from other visitors. One space can accommodate up to 10 people at a time and an entire museum can accommodate up to 50 people. The hall supervisors will monitor the situation and instruct customers in such a way as to ensure sufficient safe distances are maintained in the premises. In case of possible queuing, safe distances should be maintained.  

Outdoor swimming pools and swimming halls (excluding gyms and sports halls) will be opened for use for up to half of the normal number of customers. Lockers must be used in such a way that safety distances of at least two meters are possible.

Starting from 1 July, city-managed indoor sports facilities, such as gyms and sports halls, have been opened for the recreational and competition activities of people of all ages. Up to half of the normal number of customers can be admitted to sports facilities and group sports. People over the age of 12 are recommended to wear a face mask in the dressing rooms.

Museums and exhibition spaces open with limitations, more library services available – small outdoor events in June
Swimming halls and Leppävaara outdoor swimming pool will be opened 1 June 2021
Cultural services in Espoo in summer 2021: museums and libraries are open, events in the yards of cultural venues and activities for people of all ages
City gyms reopen on 1 July

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Restrictions on restaurant opening hours, alcohol serving times and customer capacity

  • In a restaurant in which alcohol consumption is the primary business, half of the customer seating may be used. Alcohol may be served from 07.00 to 00.00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05.00 to 01.00.
  • Other restaurants may use 75 per cent of their customer seating. Servings are allowed from 07.00 to 00.00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05.00 to 01.00.
  • For example, alcohol may be served in connection with breakfast starting from 7.00, provided that the Regional State Administrative Agency has granted permission for it. Without this permission, the serving of alcohol may be started at 9.00 at the earliest.
  • On outdoor terraces, each customer must have their own seating and care must be taken to maintain safe distances. The above-mentioned customer seating restrictions do not apply to outdoor terraces.

Government: Restrictions on restaurants

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Public events

These recommendations are in effect until 26 August 2021.

Gatherings may be organised indoors and in delineated outdoors areas without restrictions on the number of participants. As regards gatherings of more than ten people indoors, the customers or participants must have the opportunity to maintain safe distances, i.e., avoid close contact. Indoors, close contact means people remaining less than two metres apart for over 15 minutes or physical contact.

In outdoor events for more than 50 people, the customers or participants must have the opportunity to avoid physical contact, but specific safe distances are not required.

If more than ten people attend an indoor event or more than 50 people attend an outdoor event, the arrangements must also adhere to the guidelines (link) published on 31 May by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on the prevention of coronavirus infections. Hygiene-related requirements must also be observed: for example, customers must have the opportunity to wash their hands and customer areas must be as spacious as possible for maintaining some distance from others.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Recommendations regarding public spaces and gatherings (in Finnish)

A press release by the Regional State Adminstrative Agency (AVI), 28 June 2021 (in Finnish)

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Private events

The recommendation are in force until further notice.

The same restrictions are recommended for private events as for public events.

  • a maximum of ten people indoors
  • a maximum of 50 people outdoors.

Graduation parties organised at home or on other private premises during the spring and summer should primarily be held outdoors in accordance with effective recommendations on private event attendance and other guidelines regarding the safe arrangement of events.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Recommendations regarding summer parties

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National recommendations on travel

Check out the recommendations on the website of the Finnish Government: Travel to and from Finland

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Secondary school pupils switched to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021

Secondary schools have switched to a rotation model as of 12 April 2021. This means that the pupils alternate between contact teaching and distance learning. This decision also applies to tenth-graders.

The needs for essential contact teaching will be secured. Contact teaching will continue, for example, for pupils who have received a special support decision and pupils attending extended compulsory education or instruction preparing for basic education.

The secondary schools switched completely to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021.

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Upper secondary school students switched to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021

General upper secondary school students will switch to a rotation model whereby half of the students will attend contact teaching at a time. This happens in the end of the fourth period (approx. 15 April 2021).

Students in vocational institutions will continue studying from home for as long as students in general upper secondary schools. After this, vocational institutions will switch to a rotation model whereby a third of the students will attend contact teaching at a time.

Upper secondary schools switched completely to contact teaching as of 3 May 2021.

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Recommendations of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are observed in early childhood education and schools

The recommendations will be in force until further notice.

The safety recommendations issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are observed in early childhood education and contact teaching.

Comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools must stagger starting times and lunches, in addition to ensuring safe distances and the practice of good hand hygiene. In the event that a coronavirus infection is discovered in an early childhood education unit, school or other educational institution, those exposed will be traced and quarantined. Distance learning will be arranged for all the pupils/students who have been exposed. All quarantine decisions are made by a physician specialising in infectious diseases.

If it becomes challenging to organise basic education as the epidemic escalates, for example, if several staff members are placed in quarantine, the school will switch to exceptional teaching arrangements whereby multiple classes will study from home. This decision will be made by the Director of Education and Cultural Services based on the recommendation of the infectious disease physician.

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Face mask recommendation for early childhood education and teaching staff

The recommendation will be in force until further notice.

All early childhood education and teaching staff are advised to wear a face mask at work. The employer provides them with masks. Adherence to the mask recommendation will help to ensure the continuation of early childhood education and contact teaching and to reduce exposures.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Children and coronavirus

Further information:

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Face mask recommendation for pupils in grades 6–10

The recommendation will be in force until further notice.

The face mask recommendation in basic education was extended to sixth-graders as of 13 January 2021, in accordance with recommendations from THL. The use of masks is recommended to all pupils in grades 6–10, unless they are unable to wear a mask for health reasons.

The city provides pupils with masks, but they can also use their own masks. Pupils will be shown at school how to wear a face mask safely.

Coronavirus-related precautions at universities

Universities provide information on the effects of coronavirus on studies on their websites:

Further information on current restrictions is available on the website of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland (in Finnish).

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Description of the acceleration phase of the coronavirus epidemic

  • The total number of infections during a 14-day period does not exceed 25 per 100,000 residents.
  • The proportion of positive samples exceeds 1%.
  • There are mass exposures.
  • More than two thirds of the sources of infection can be traced, and chains of transmission can be broken without a delay caused by tracing.
  • The capacity of social welfare and health care units and the availability of services can be secured without special measures.

Source: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

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