COVID-19 prevention in Finland to focus on regional restrictions and recommendations
The COVID-19 situation is stable and developing favourably. As a result, Finland has decided to discontinue the nationwide tiers of COVID-19 prevention measures. Going forward, the COVID-19 epidemic will be managed through regional restrictions and recommendations. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will make a decision on the matter early next week.
With its resolution of 6 May 2021, the Government supported the proposal to discontinue the nationwide tiers of prevention measures (1–3).
Following this, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will discuss the matters required by the change with the regions and make the actual decision to discontinue the tiers. Once the decision has been made, the Ministry will send a letter to all regions instructing them to discontinue the additional measures related to the tiers and to follow the measures based on the phase of the epidemic in each region.
Finland imposed more stringent prevention measures (tiers 1–3) on regions on 1 March. The decision to discontinue them means that in future, assessments will be based on the phase of the epidemic in each region, as last autumn. The action plan for implementing the Government’s hybrid strategy divides the epidemic into three phases: baseline, acceleration phase and community transmission phase.
The epidemiological situation varies greatly from one part of the country to another. To lift the restrictions and recommendations in a controlled and timely manner, it is necessary to constantly monitor and assess the development of the epidemic and the effects of changes to the restrictions. Account must also be taken of the epidemiological situation in the surrounding areas and in the country as a whole.
The restrictive measures must not be lifted prematurely; instead, the recommendations and restrictions must be relaxed with care so as to prevent any new infection clusters. It is possible that restrictions will need to be reinstated or tightened again in certain regions if the development of the epidemic so requires.
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General
Satu Koskela, Director General
Pasi Pohjola, Director
Action plan implementing the hybrid strategy, part 3: Use of recommendation and restrictions (25 February 2021), in Finnish
Action plan for implementing the hybrid strategy to curb the COVID-19 epidemic in January-May 2021 (Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2021:1, 5 January 2021)
Hybrid strategy action plan supplement 1/2021: Measures to prevent the impending rapid acceleration of the epidemic and spread of more infectious mutant strain (Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2021:11, 9 February 2021)
Transition to the next tier of COVID-19 prevention measures — additional measures introduced in several areas (Press release of 25 February 2021), in Finnish and Swedish