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Govt adopts resolution for wearing face mask, remote work

Published : 13 Aug 2020, 20:41

Updated : 14 Aug 2020, 10:01

  DF Report

Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Director General of THL Markku Tervahauta spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Thursday. Photo Finnish government by Laura Kotila.

The government on Thursday adopted a resolution on recommendations for wearing face coverings and face masks and for remote work, said an official press release.

In its plenary session, the government discussed a proposal made by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) earlier on the day for a recommendation on wearing face coverings and face masks.

The proper use of face coverings and face masks may reduce infections by preventing the spread of virus-infected droplets.

The recommendation aims at protecting people from possible exposure to coronavirus infection.

People must acquire their own face coverings and face masks, but municipalities will ensure that they are available free of charge for people in the most vulnerable groups in the areas subject to the recommendation.

Earlier on Thursday, the THL recommended that citizens should use face masks in confined spaces where safe social distancing is not possible to protect others.

“The risk of the spread of coronavirus is increasing now as everyday life begins and people start moving more. Furthermore, it is now clear that the risk of infection is particularly high in crowds,” said THL Director-General Markku Tervahauta in a press release, adding that face masks provide one more means to prevent the acceleration of the epidemic.

The recommendation also applies to hospital districts where COVID-19 infections have been detected within the last two weeks, while it does not apply to working communities. The health institute emphasised that face masks are not suitable for children. Masks can be worn as intended starting from the age of 15.

At a press conference held also on Thursday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the government backed the recommendation of the THL for using of face masks in situations where close contact is not possible to avoid, reported Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the government in its plenary session also discussed a recommendation for remote work prepared by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and decided to issue a resolution on remote work, said the government press release.

In a situation where the health authorities state that the COVID-19 epidemic is growing regionally, the government recommends that workplaces in the region shifts to remote work when possible. Employers should also promote work arrangements that reduce close contacts and other risk factors at workplace.