False information on coronavirus restrictions is being spread in the name of the City of Espoo

Published: 21.1.2022 9.35
A drawing: a person looks at a phone, symbols in speech bubbles.

Someone using a fake Gmail account created in the name of the City of Espoo has been sending false information on coronavirus restrictions to event organisers. Messages have been sent at least to organisers of winter sports competitions. The messages contain several incorrect claims. At least some of the messages have been signed in the name of “Espoon koronaviruksen ennaltaehkäisytiimi” (Espoo’s coronavirus prevention team).

If the City of Espoo provides instructions by email, the message will always come from an address that ends with espoo.fi or opetus.espoo.fi. You can find up-to-date information on current coronavirus restrictions and recommendations in Espoo on the city’s website.

“I urge people to be careful. It is very unfortunate that such disinformation, i.e. deliberately misleading information, is being spread. If you are not sure that a message is from an official source, do not forward it to anyone,” says Petri Häkkinen, Chief Security Officer at the City of Espoo.

You can report suspicious messages through the city’s online feedback system(extrernal link). As the topic of your feedback, select Other/general feedback, and under subject, select Safety in the City of Espoo. This way, your message will be sent directly to our security specialists.

Outdoor events are allowed if safety guidelines are followed

All public indoor events and general meetings are prohibited in Uusimaa, regardless of the number of participants, until 31 January 2022. The prohibition does not apply to outdoor events, such as skiing competitions.

Outdoor events or the number of participants in them have not been restricted, but the organiser must ensure the participants’ health and safety in compliance with the Communicable Diseases Act. Activities must be organised in such a way that the risk of infection caused by close contact between customers, participants and groups can be prevented. Operators may fulfil their obligations by restricting the number of customers, by rearranging their customer seats or facilities or in another manner that takes account of the special characteristics of their operations.

You should not participate in any activities if you have flu-like symptoms.

It is strongly recommended that instructors and over 12-year-olds wear a face mask indoors unless they are unable to do so for health reasons. Masks do not need to be used during physical activity. Only participants and instructors should be allowed in recreational facilities and changing rooms.

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

Schools have received threatening anti-vaccination messages

Some schools in Espoo have received threatening messages from their pupils’ parents who do not want their child to get vaccinated, use a mask or be encouraged to use hand sanitiser, unless the child has their own hand sanitiser with them. The senders have warned that the messages will be used as evidence in legal proceedings, if necessary.

In Espoo, we follow national vaccination guidelines and recommendations. We do not vaccinate anyone against their will, and under 12-year-olds can only get vaccinated if they have a consent form signed by both guardians. Vaccines are also not administered at schools in Espoo. They are only administered at vaccination sites where children aged under 12 must be accompanied by at least one adult.

“We do not tolerate any form of pressure on our staff. As an employer, we are responsible for the occupational wellbeing of our staff. If necessary, we will not hesitate to report inappropriate behaviour and any attempts to exert pressure on our staff to the police,” says Chief Security Officer Häkkinen.

  • Covid