Tuesday October 26, 2021

Coronavirus infection risk low in education sector

Published : 13 Oct 2021, 01:50

  DF Report

File Photo: City of Helsinki by Kimmo Brandt.

The risk of infection in early childhood education and care, in schools and in educational institutions has been low, and there is no need to issue general national recommendations on the use of masks in the education sector, according to new safety recommendations issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The recommendations were issued for early childhood education and care, schools, educational institutions and higher education institutions, taking into account the amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act and the transition to local and regional measures when lifting the restrictions, said Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release on Tuesday.

The purpose of the recommendations is to support the organisation of early childhood education and care and education and training safely and to give guidance on the safe use of spaces during the COVID-19 epidemic.

By complying with the recommendations, infections can be prevented and the number of people exposed to the virus can be reduced.

If regional clusters of infection emerge, they will primarily be managed through local and regional measures in line with the Communicable Diseases Act. The new recommendations replace the corresponding recommendations issued in August.

Based on their risk assessment, the competent authorities in the regions and local areas may issue supplementary or more limited recommendations in their area or locally depending on the epidemiological situation.

Education providers are responsible for the safety of the learning environment and can issue their own recommendations on the use of masks in teaching and examination facilities. This means that recommendations on the use of masks in educational institutions, schools and early childhood education and care may vary regionally and between educational institutions.

The temporary provisions in the Communicable Diseases Act on measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic will remain in force until 31 December 2021.