On Thursday 14 May, Turku will open outdoor sports facilities maintained by the City of Turku so that they can be used by city residents and clubs.

The opening of sports facilities is linked to Government policies announced on Monday 4 May regarding the dismantling of nationwide coronavirus restrictions.

– We are able to again offer the great courts and fields, tracks and other sports facilities of the City of Turku for residents to enjoy and benefit from. Clubs and associations will be provided with areas for guided and supervised practice activities. Opening the outdoor sports facility network allows users to spread more evenly throughout the network area. This reduces the risk of compromising gathering restrictions, says Sports Services Director at the City of Turku Markus Kalmari.

Following guidelines is important

Even though outdoor sports facilities are reopened, it is important to remember that the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet. Everyone using sports facilities must follow current Government and health authority guidelines and policies e.g. related to safety distance, gathering restrictions and personal health.

In accordance with Government policy, the restriction on gathering will be eased. From 1 June 2020 onwards, the allowed number of people gathering will be 50 instead of the current 10.

Every city resident continues to be responsible for following guidelines in their own activities, thus also securing the health of people around them. Adults are responsible for making sure that children follow them too.

Guide signs in three languages will be placed at outdoor sports facilities and guidelines will also be published on the website www.turku.fi/sports. There will monitoring to make sure guidelines are followed and interventions will be made if necessary.

– In this way, we can slow down the spreading of coronavirus, protect people in high-risk groups and prevent excessive straining of health care system, Kalmari adds.

Outdoor sports facilities to be opened

City of Turku outdoor sports facilities, courts and fields are opened on 14 May, apart from natu-ral grass fields, beaches and outdoor swimming stadiums. Also toilet facilities in the changing rooms of outdoor sports facilities are in use from 14 May. Exercise routes, outdoor gym devices and exercise stairs continue to be open for all.

Beaches are set to be opened at the beginning of June and supervision at beaches is also planned to start at that time.

For the part of the Finnish Football League Association (Veikkausliiga) teams, artificial turf fields 2 and 5 at Kupittaa are opened already this week, taking into consideration restrictions on gathering.

Grass fields to be taken into use in May-June

In all outdoor sports facilities, activities will begin in accordance with the normal seasonal schedule. This means that grass fields, for instance, will be taken into use in May-June as usual and even then depending on weather circumstances. For outdoor sports courts and fields that can be reserved, time slots are available from 14 May onwards apart from the main league level in ball games where time slots are available immediately.

City of Turku Sports Services will distribute time slots as normal. Fees for booked time slots will be charged in accordance with current rates. Outdoor courts and fields can be used free of charge without reservation when they are available. Sports Services will notify clubs and associations about concrete practices and details.

Decisions on swimming facilities and indoor sports facilities to be made later

Separate decisions will be made on opening municipal outdoor swimming stadiums, swimming centres, indoor sports facilities, football hall and indoor ice rinks. The decision on starting guided exercise will also be made later. Decisions are made in accordance with Government policies and progression of the coronavirus epidemic. These will be communicated over the next few weeks.

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