Current recommendations and restrictions in Espoo

The coronavirus epidemic is currently in the community transmission phase in Espoo and the rest of the capital region. Further information about the criteria for the community transmission 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 will be in force until 16 May 2021.

On this page:

Use of face masks is recommended for everyone over 12 years of age
Maintenance of safe distances on public premises, temporary section 58d of the Communicable Diseases Act
Recreational activities in the premises of the cities only for children and young people
Remote work is widely recommended
Visitor restrictions 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
Only absolutely essential public events are allowed
Close contact should be limited to members of the same household
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
Description of the community transmission phase of the coronavirus epidemic

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
  • 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

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Maintenance of safe distances on public premises, temporary section 58d of the Communicable Diseases Act

The restriction is in force until 16 May 2021.

Private and public operators are obliged to arrange the use of premises that are open to the public or intended for a limited group of customers or participants in such a way that the customers, activity participants and groups can feasibly avoid close contact. Operators may fulfil their obligations by restricting the number of customers, by rearranging the customer seats or facilities or in another manner that considers the special characteristics of their operations. The decision applies to almost all private and public customer premises, with the exclusion of restaurant premises. If it is impossible to avoid contact, the entire customer premises may be closed by decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency or the municipality.

The restriction applies to indoor premises in which more than 10 customers or participants are present simultaneously as well as limited outdoor premises used for purposes involving the simultaneous presence of more than 50 customers or participants.

The decision was made by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.

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Recreational activities in the premises of the cities only for children and young people

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 children and young people born in 2001 or later. This applies to all other fields (including artificial turf, athletics fields, baseball fields), except natural grass, which will be opened when the field grass is in such a condition that it is sustainable for use. 

  • Activities other than those involving sports will also be made possible.
  • However, choir singing, amateur theatre activities and similar group hobbies will remain prohibited until 28 April even in outdoor areas and facilities.
  • Youth work activities will be permitted outside in limited groups.

All forms of activities for children and young people must be organised without close contact. All activities must comply with the following principles:

  • The number of participants in the group is regulated and based on pre-registration. Facilities are only opened for booked time slots and are not open for public use.
  • 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.

Youth work activities are permitted outside in limited groups.

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

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Remote work is widely recommended

The recommendation will be in force until further notice.

Working from home is recommended for everyone whose work can be done remotely. Furthermore, arrangements must be made to reduce close contact and other risk factors at workplaces.

It is recommended that all those working at public and private sector workplaces wear a face mask while indoors, both during all physical encounters at the workplace and when moving about the workplace. 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 restrictions at social welfare and health care units

The restrictions will be in force until further notice.

As the coronavirus epidemic is currently in the community transmission phase in Espoo, visitor restrictions are in place. The aim of the restrictions is to protect patients, residents and personnel from coronavirus infections.

Nursing homes and housing units

We recommend that family members and friends mainly stay in touch with our residents by phone or through remote communication systems. You can visit our residents, but we recommend that you meet them outdoors if possible. Indoor visits can be organised with special arrangements.

Espoo Hospital

Close relatives are allowed to visit patients in hospice care. Visits to patients in hospice care must be agreed on in advance with the ward staff.

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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 30 June 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.

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Public spaces of the city

The restrictions will be in force until 16 May 2021.

All public customer spaces of the city will remain closed, with the exception of time slots reserved for the guided recreational activities of children born in or after 2001. This includes all municipal cultural venues, museums and youth centres. Contact teaching at adult education centres has been suspended in favour of distance learning since November.

Exceptions in the recreational premises:

  • The indoor and outdoor premises of the cities can, to a limited degree, be used for guided recreational activities of children and young people born in 2001 or later.
  • The youth facilities have been opened to a limited extent.
  • People with a wristband for special groups can use the Espoonlahti, Keski-Espoo and Leppävaara swimming pools. You can bring an assistant with you if your wristband allows you to do so. For more information: Espoonlahti, Keski-Espoo and Leppävaara swimming pools open their doors to special groups

The premises used for social and health services, early childhood education, basic education and essential upper secondary education will remain open. In addition, the essential use of customer computers at libraries and open Service Points and the distribution of masks to people with a low income will continue. The cities have determined which units provide essential services, and these will remain open in a limited and safe manner.

Libraries provide limited services, including:

  • Picking up items from the reservation shelf and the limited collection and theme shelves near the self-service machines. 
  • Necessary, brief use of customer computers.
  • Customers should preferably reserve items in advance and use self-service machines.
  • Assistance and advice is provided by staff at the customer service desk, if necessary.
  • Customers are required to wear a mask. (With the exception of persons who are unable to wear a mask for health reasons.)

Half of Espoo's Service Points remain open – please use remote services whenever you can

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

Restaurants and other establishments that serve food and beverages are open with the following restrictions:

  • In a restaurant in which alcohol consumption is the primary business, one third of the customer seating may be used. Alcohol may be served from 07:00 to 17:00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05:00 to 18:00.
  • Other restaurants may use half of their customer seating. Servings are allowed from 07:00 to 17:00 and the permitted opening hours are from 05:00 to 19:00.
  • In restaurants, customers must be instructed to sit down when indoors. Thus, for example, karaoke and dancing are prohibited.

Government: Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic

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Only absolutely essential public events are allowed

The restrictions will be in force until 16 May 2021.

All indoor and outdoor public events and meetings have been prohibited for a fixed period. However, absolutely essential public events and meetings with at most six persons may be arranged if their safety can be guaranteed in compliance with the instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on 21 September 2020. 

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

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Close contact should be limited to members of the same household

The recommendation will be in force until 16 May 2021.

Close contact should be limited to members of the same household or those considered as close as household members. Other kinds of private gatherings or meetings with extended family are not recommended. Guests at a funeral or a memorial service should be restricted to only a small group of close relatives.

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National recommendations on travel

The recommendations will be in force until further notice.

When travelling by ship and arriving in Finland

When boarding a ship, all passengers over the age of 12 must present a certificate of a negative coronavirus test result or of having had the coronavirus disease previously. No certificate is required from cruise passengers who will not disembark in another country. 

During your journey, you will be provided with a contact information form. Fill in the form before you arrive at the health information point at the port. The information points are located in the terminal and by the car lane.

If you do not have a certificate of a coronavirus test taken 72 hours prior to arriving at the port, you will be directed to have the first test immediately.

After your trip, you must have a second coronavirus test within 72 hours of arrival. If you have had the coronavirus disease within the past six months, you do not need to get tested.

You can book an appointment for the second coronavirus test

  • through the Finentry service
  • through the HUS Coronabot
  • by calling Espoo’s coronavirus helpline and appointment booking number, tel. 09 816 34600 (Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00 and Sat–Sun 9:00–15:00).
    • Outside these hours, please call the Medical Helpline, tel. 116 117.

While waiting for your first or second test result, it is important to remain in self-quarantine at home or in other accommodations. If your test results are negative, you can end your self-quarantine. 

Passengers who are essential for ensuring the security of supply are advised to stay in self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, which they can shorten by getting tested.

Freight transport and logistics personnel do not have to stay in quarantine or get tested while they are on the job. They have received separate instructions that apply to their duties.

When arriving in Finland by plane

Air passengers arriving at Helsinki Airport from abroad are directed to free-of-charge coronavirus testing at the airport. It is recommended that those arriving in Finland enter their information in advance in the Finentry service.

Passengers are advised to stay in self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, which they can shorten by having two coronavirus tests. The first test will be carried out at the airport and the second no earlier than 72 hours after arrival.

While waiting for your test results, it is important to remain in self-quarantine at home or in other accommodations. If both test results are negative, you can end your self-quarantine.

Read more on Finavia’s website.

Avoid non-essential travel

According to national travel recommendations and restrictions currently in force, everyone should avoid non-essential travel to countries other than those for which travel restrictions have been lifted.

Domestic travel is permitted, provided that health and safety instructions related to the coronavirus are observed.

Avoid all travel when ill.

Government: Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic

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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:

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Description of the community transmission phase of the coronavirus epidemic

  • In the community transmission phase, coronavirus infections spread regionally or more widely throughout the population: the 7-day incidence rate is more than 12–25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and the 14-day incidence rate is more than 18–50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • The daily rate of transmission rises by more than 10%.
  • The proportion of positive samples exceeds 2%.
  • Less than half of the sources of infection can be traced.
  • The need for hospital care and intensive care grows rapidly.

Source: Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

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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