Recreational activities may continue as long as close contact can be avoided
Recreational activities may continue in Espoo even though the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland (AVI) made a decision last week to place restrictions on gatherings and the use of premises as of 20 August 2021. What this means in practice is that all activities must be organised in such a way that the participants or customers can avoid close contact with each other. In addition, a maximum of 25 people will be allowed in an indoor space and a maximum of 50 people in an outdoor space.
“Recreational activities for children and young people as well as for adults will continue as usual in Espoo. The changes mainly concern the number of participants. Coronavirus-related safety measures are already in place in all our recreational activities,” Mayor Jukka Mäkelä says.
In accordance with the AVI decision, participants can choose whether they wish to have close contact with each other for example during sports activities. However, the organiser must ensure that the participants can maintain a distance of at least two metres from each other, if they so wish, when spending more than 15 minutes in an indoor space. In outdoor activities, the organiser must ensure that the participants can avoid physical contact with each other, but specific safe distances are not required.
Safety is ensured in the city’s cultural, recreational and customer service facilities
The City of Espoo’s cultural venues, the City Museum, youth centres, libraries and sports facilities, such as swimming pools and other indoor facilities, as well as the Service Points and Service Centres will remain open according to their normal opening hours.
The city’s services comply with the coronavirus guidelines in force. When indoors, customers must maintain a safe distance of at least two metres from other customers and staff members. We recommend that everyone aged 12 and older wear a face mask indoors, except during physical activity. All facilities offer the possibility to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
The city instructs the organisers of sports and cultural activities
The City of Espoo has provided Espoo-based sports clubs with instructions on how to comply with the AVI decision in practice. The instructions have been prepared by the sports services of the cities of Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa.
Instructions for the organisers of sports activities in the capital region as of 20 August 2021:
- Clubs must sign an updated commitment document concerning how recreational activities can continue in a safe manner as required by AVI. The commitment will be kept in the clubs’ premises and will not be sent to the city.
- Clubs can continue their recreational activities both indoors and outdoors. Time slots will not be cancelled. Changing rooms will be available, but we recommend that their use is avoided. All activities must comply with AVI’s guidelines.
- All competitive activities will continue, but it is recommended that practice matches are cancelled or postponed. Competitive activities include, for example, basketball tournaments. A tournament is not considered an event but a group of individual matches, each of which must comply with AVI’s guidelines.
- The organiser is responsible for the activities and the safe use of all facilities (AVI guidelines). Please remember that the use of masks and hand sanitiser as well as cleaning are still an important part of preventing the spread of the virus.
Providers of basic education in the arts and other providers of recreational activities in the field of culture are also instructed to comply with AVI’s guidelines. All operators must prevent close contact in customer premises and prepare a written plan on how close contact between people is prevented. This plan must be available on their premises. In other respects, they must follow the safety guidelines that have been in force since last spring, for example with regard to face masks and hygiene.
Further information on the AVI decision
- Coronavirus restrictions tightened in the capital region(external link) (in Finnish)
- Children and young people’s recreational activities can also be organised in the capital region if sufficient safety measures are in place – operators responsible for premises must ensure that close contact can be avoided(external link) (in Finnish)