Government recommends remote work in areas in the community transmission phase until further notice
The Government recommends that workplaces in areas in the community transmission phase switch to remote work when possible. Recommendation on remote work will be in effect until further notice. The Government issued a government resolution on the matter on 2 December.
According to the recommendation, public sector employees should shift to remote work as extensively as possible, if the nature of their work permits it. The Government also recommends that private employers adopt similar extensive remote work practices, recognising, however, that workplaces will determine how to combine in-office and remote work in a way that ensures health security. At the same time, work arrangements that reduce close contacts and other risk factors at workplaces should be supported.
At the moment, areas in the community transmission phase include the hospital districts of South Karelia, South Ostrobothnia, Helsinki and Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Central Ostrobothnia, Central Finland, Kymenlaakso, Länsi-Pohja, Pirkanmaa, North Ostrobothnia, Päijät-Häme, Satakunta, Vaasa and Southwest Finland.
Employers are encouraged to follow the instructions provided by regional health authorities, as the situation in regions may change rapidly.
Recommendation on remote work required in response to deteriorated COVID-19 situation
Remote work is recommended because the COVID-19 situation has deteriorated significantly throughout the country since mid-October. Especially in the last four weeks, the number of infections has increased despite a high vaccination coverage. Infections are spreading particularly among the unvaccinated working-age population.
At the same time, the number of patients requiring specialised healthcare has increased sharply. Due to the pressure on specialised healthcare, non-urgent surgeries have been postponed and occasionally patients in intensive care have been transferred from one hospital to another to reduce the burden. University and central hospitals in areas in the community transmission phase need to proactively safeguard their ability to treat citizens in need of critical care.
Grounds for the recommendation on remote work will be reassessed on 15 February 2022 or earlier if the situation so requires.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has issued a statement on the epidemiological situation and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has issued a recommendation on remote work.
Juha Sarkio, Director General, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 29 553 0031, juha.sarkio(at)gov.fi
Raimo Antila, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 29 516 3094, raimo.antila(at)gov.fi