Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic
Over the course of the winter, the COVID-19 situation in Finland has deteriorated rapidly due to the easily transmissible Omicron variant. This has led to an increased need for hospital care and placed a significant burden on the healthcare system.
On 22nd of December, the Government has issued a resolution on the adoption of the national emergency brake mechanism. In managing the COVID-19 epidemic, Finland has returned to extensive restrictions and recommendations which are guided by national legislation.
- Emergency brake to be introduced to tackle COVID-19 – aiming to slow down the spread of the epidemic | Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 22nd December 2021
- Emergency brake mechanism
The COVID-19 vaccine protects against the most severe form of the disease. Given the current situation, it is still essential to increase vaccination coverage and strengthen vaccine protection.
In addition to improving vaccination coverage, we need effective national and regional restrictions and recommendations that reduce encounters between people in order to mitigate the burden on hospitals and ensure that there is time to administer third doses of the vaccine. It is also important to follow the guidelines on good hygiene: wash your hands, wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others.
Restrictions primarily at regional and local levels
The authorities regularly reassess the need for restrictions. Further spread of the COVID-19 epidemic is being prevented primarily through local and regional measures. The regional guidelines, restrictions and recommendations in place depend on the epidemiological situation in the region in question.
The competent authorities in each region will decide on the recommendations and restrictions in force in line with the Communicable Diseases Act.
You can find out about the situation in your area on the website of your hospital district or municipality.
Restaurants or event organisers can require their customers to present a COVID-19 passport if the event or premises in question are subject to restrictions. Such restrictions can include restrictions on opening hours or on the number of participants at events.
The COVID-19 passport will not, however, serve as an alternative to restrictions in situations where the authorities have closed the premises or prohibited the public event altogether owing to the COVID-19 situation
Restrictions to use of COVID-19 passport
On 28 December, the Government adopted a decree on temporary restrictions to the use of the COVID-19 passport. By virtue of the decree, the use of the COVID-19 passport will be restricted between 28 December 2021 and 31 January 2022, when it cannot be used as an alternative to regional restrictions on certain public events and customer premises.
The decision will apply to all public events and customer premises that are subject to existing restrictions. Regional authorities will decide what restrictions are in place in their areas. The derogation to the use of the COVID-19 passport will apply to the areas that meet the criteria for the community transmission phase.
- COVID-19 passport | Kela Kanta service
- The COVID-19 passport | Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
- Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 passport (available in Finnish and in Swedish) | Regional State Administrative Agency
- Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 certificate reader | Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
The hybrid strategy and lifting the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19
The hybrid strategy outlines the guiding principles for managing the epidemic.