Government has submitted a proposal on temporarily restricting freedom of movement and close contacts
31 March 2021
The Government has withdrawn the legislative proposal it submitted to Parliament on 25 March on the temporary restriction of freedom of movement and close contacts. On 31 March, the Constitutional Law Committee submitted a statement on the government proposal (PeVL 12/2021 vp). In its statement, the Constitutional Law Committee stressed that the objectives of the government proposal could be considered very significant. However, in the Committee's view, the underlying solution chosen in the government proposal to prohibit movement in its entirety is contrary to the requirement of proportionality.
The Government is submitting a proposal to Parliament that would introduce restrictions on movement and a mask mandate in municipalities where these measures are needed to protect people from COVID-19.
The aim of the restrictions on movement is to reduce the number of contacts between people. The goal is to protect people from COVID-19 and to ensure the carrying capacity of the healthcare system.
If Parliament adopts the proposal, the Government would issue a decree specifying the municipalities where the restrictions would be in force.
The restrictions could be imposed for a maximum period of 21 days, and they would only be in force for as long as necessary. They could be extended for a maximum of 21 days at a time.
When could I leave home?
While the restrictions are in force, people would still be permitted to leave their homes or places of residence for essential reasons or for outdoor recreation. People would be able to move around outside with others living in the same household or at most two other persons.
As an exception, children born in or after 2008 would be allowed to play outdoors with other children. You are always allowed to return to your home or place of residence.
Mask mandate for areas worst affected by COVID-19
In line with the Government’s proposal, all people born in 2007 or before must wear a face mask or respirator covering the mouth and nose while in indoor spaces and in means of transport with persons other than those belonging to the same household. However, persons who are unable to wear a mask or respirator for health-related reasons are not required to do so. Violation of the mask mandate may result in a fixed fine of EUR 40.
Who will monitor compliance with the restrictions on movement?
The police would be responsible for monitoring compliance with the restrictions on movement.
Upon request, you would need to provide the police with an account of your destination and your reason for being outside. The police could order people who violate the restrictions to leave their location or disperse. If necessary, the police could use force and apprehend people who violate the restrictions. Intentional violation of the restrictions on movement could result in a fine.
The aim of the restrictions is to reduce the number of infections rapidly
The COVID-19 situation in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and the Hospital District of Southwest Finland is now particularly serious. In the Government’s view, it is not possible to protect people’s health and safeguard the carrying capacity of the healthcare system without temporarily restricting people's fundamental rights in the worst epidemic areas.
The Government will closely monitor whether the restrictions on movement are necessary. Fundamental rights may be restricted only when absolutely necessary.