On 9 December 2021, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland decided to prohibit all public events and public meetings with more than 20 people organised indoors in Southwestern Finland and Satakunta. Additionally, the Regional State Administrative Agency requires that the use of public facilities as well as facilities intended for the use by a limited set of customers or participants be arranged in such a way that the risk of infection caused by close contact of customers and those involved in the activities can be prevented.
The decision based on section 58 d of the Communicable Diseases Act on the conditions for the use of public facilities applies extensively to different customer facilities and public spaces. Regardless of the number of customers, the decision applies to facilities used for sports, exercise, leisure and recreational activities, such as gyms, indoor sports facilities, swimming pools, public saunas and dancing facilities. For other customer facilities, the decision must be adhered to in the case of indoor facilities for more than 10 persons or outdoor facilities for more than 50 persons.
The decision is valid from 10 to 31 December 2021. Operators can avoid restrictions by requiring a COVID-19 passport of their customers. Based on this, the City of Turku will introduce the COVID-19 passport instead of restrictions for operations where it is possible.
“Turku safeguards the city's services and their normal operation by introducing the COVID-19 passport extensively in those services and activities where it is possible. As a city, we are responsible for controlling the coronavirus situation,” says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.
From 10 December 2021, the COVID-19 passport will be introduced in most of the city’s services, in some customer facilities and in public events organised by the city. For example, indoors sports facilities, cultural facilities and city museums will introduce the COVID-19 passport. Sports Services will provide information on the details related to the sports facilities and recreational activities on 10 December.
The COVID-19 passport cannot be introduced in facilities that are essential for normal life or statutory rights. For this reason, the COVID-19 passport will not be introduced in, for example, libraries and youth centres. Public events for more than 20 people organised in these premises are an exception; participants that are over 16 years old must have a COVID-19 passport. Participation of those under the age of 16 in public events will not be restricted, even if other participants would need a COVID-19 passport.
In events organised by the library and youth services, the personnel of the facilities will check the COVID-19 passports. If the facility has been leased out, the organiser of the event is responsible for checking the COVID-19 passports.
In addition to the introduction of the COVID-19 passport, Turku will ensure that general hygiene requirements are observed in customer facilities and public spaces.
Turku offers help with adopting the COVID-19 passport
COVID-19 passport stations can help you if you have your online banking IDs or a mobile certificate with you to log in to My Kanta. You can then get help with printing the passport, among other things.
If you do not have online banking IDs or other means of electronic identification, you must go to the COVID-19 passport station in the Turku City Hospital's main lobby to get your passport. It will open on Tuesday 14 December at the earliest. The monitoring of communicable diseases at the Mäntymäki health station offers help with COVID-19 passport issues to those who do not have a permanent Finnish personal identity code and to Turku residents living abroad.
You should not call the health stations of the City of Turku in matters related to downloading or printing the COVID-19 passport to avoid further congestion in the appointment and advice services of the health centres.
“We offer help especially to the residents who find it difficult to download or print the COVID-19 passport themselves, or who do not have Finnish banking IDs or personal identity codes, for example,” says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.
The City of Turku will collect instructions related to the COVID-19 passport on the turku.fi/en/corona website, and further information will be provided at the city's public information event on Friday 10 December.
Masks must be used in services, buses and Christmas events
The City of Turku heavily emphasises that masks must always be used when using services, buses and, for example, during Christmas time events. The use of mask is one of the most important coronavirus precautions.
Turku organises Christmas time events, such as the Declaration of Christmas Peace as planned, but closely monitors the development of the coronavirus situation. Earlier, on Thursday, the City of Turku announced the mask recommendation for Christmas peace (in Finnish).
In schools, the mask recommendation was introduced on Thursday 9 December, for those in the third grade or older.
There will be no travel restrictions for public transport at this stage.
For more information on the city services, visit turku.fi/en/corona
More information on the regulations of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland can be found at avi.fi/en/faq-corona and avi.fi/en/customer-service