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Helsinki suspends adults’ indoor sports for 3 weeks

Published : 21 Nov 2020, 00:41

Updated : 21 Nov 2020, 10:24

  DF Report

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Press Release Photo: City of Helsinki by Heikki Nummi.

The City of Helsinki on Friday suspended all city-run indoor team sports and contact sport activities for adults temporarily for three weeks effective from Monday in the wake of increasing trend of the coronavirus infection.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group also recommended that all the public events will be limited to 20 participants and the private events to 10, said the City of Helsinki in a press release.

The coordination group at a meeting on Thursday decided that the covid-19 situation in the capital city area warranted a transfer from the acceleration to the community transmission phase, although it does not meet all of the government-defined criteria.

The group has issued a series of heightened recommendations and restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.

According to the decision, sports for over the age of 20 will be temporarily suspended for three weeks. Amateur-level matches, competitions, and regional play-offs will also be cancelled during this time.

Private operators are asked to observe these same restrictions. It is also recommended that all leisure clubs for adults in the metropolitan area limit their activities to things that take place within their own groups.

The cities concerned will send detailed instructions to the relevant organisations and will cancel their reserved practice times for the duration of the suspension.

The new restrictions will not apply to individual and group sport competitions on the national team, national and Division-I levels nor to professional athletes training for international competitions. It will also not apply to groups in which participants are able to maintain safe distances from others during activities.

Meanwhile, the capital area cities, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) have determined that public events arranged indoors should be limited to 20 participants for three weeks starting from 23 November.

The coronavirus coordination group continues its recommendation that private events be limited to a maximum of 10 people for the time being. The recommendation applies to upcoming graduation parties, family gatherings, and holiday events.

In addition to earlier restrictions on the use of public spaces, the number of customers at swimming halls will be capped at 50 per cent of capacity, meaning that half of the changing room lockers will be made off-limits. Places in public library study halls will also be reduced for the time being starting from 23 November.

There will also be an increase in the use of staggered distance learning intervals at upper secondary schools (grades 10-12) in the metropolitan area for the time being.

The coordination group also recommends that everyone who is not working remotely use face masks at work in all of their encounters with others and when moving about their workplaces. This recommendation applies to jobs in both the public and private sector.