Finland eases mask use recommendation except in public transit

Helsinki: The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has made its recommendation on the use of face-masks discretionary except in public transit, as the number of commuters is expected to rise with the lifting of the national remote work recommendation in mid-October.

“The core message of THL is that masks should be used indoors when many people are present,” said chief physician Otto Helve at a press conference.

The Finnish government has earlier tied a would-be lifting of national restrictions and recommendations to reaching at least 80 per cent double-vaccination coverage in the over 12-year-old population, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mia Kontio, a senior expert at the THL, said it is still feasible to attain the required Covid-19 vaccination coverage by the end of October, but it depends on the personal interest of the people to take the vaccinations.

Among people aged over 60, more than 86 per cent have been vaccinated twice, but the 20-to-35 cohort are well behind the target. In the whole over-12 population, full level coverage is now at 69.7 per cent.

THL is no longer updating statistical data on the number of infected but will focus on serious cases. It said though that there have been major clusters of infection, especially connected with gatherings of students.

The government on Thursday also eased Covid-19 restrictions on restaurants.

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