Ministry of Social Affairs and Health issues circular to regions on full application of action plan for hybrid strategy
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has sent a circular to the regions that guides them in taking the action plan for the revised hybrid strategy into full use and in exercising the powers under the Communicable Diseases Act starting on 15 November.
The action plan for the revised hybrid strategy will be taken into full use when the vaccination coverage for people aged 12 or over has reached the minimum of 80 per cent or all of them have had the opportunity to get vaccinated twice. According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the national target of 80 per cent vaccination coverage was reached on 10 November 2021.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will guide the regions in monitoring the development of the epidemic and in deciding on the recommendations and restrictions needed to curb it.
Instead of the earlier phase-based criteria, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has drawn up epidemiological characteristics for areas in the community transmission phase that are better suited to the current epidemiological situation. They can be used by the regions as an indicative tool when assessing the need for measures. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare will publish information on the areas that meet these epidemiological characteristics on its website starting on 15 November.
The guiding principle for the new strategy is that the various functions of society should remain open. The strategy emphasises the importance of local and targeted measures in combating the epidemic.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health stresses that the epidemic continues in Finland but it varies locally, having diverse effects. In addition, the epidemic continues to spread rapidly among unvaccinated people. Vaccination coverage alone is not enough to curb the epidemic, even though it slows down the spread of the epidemic. For this reason, it is necessary to take targeted and enhanced measures at the local level, if there are or it seems that there may be large local infection clusters where the spread of the disease among population groups poses an undeniable risk to the health and wellbeing of those susceptible to the disease and where, through its indirect effects, the spread of the disease may also cause large-scale societal harm.
- Circular issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Full application of the action plan implementing the revised hybrid strategy to control the COVID-19 epidemic (in Finnish and Swedish)
- Annex: Epidemiological characteristics for areas in the community transmission phase (in Finnish and Swedish)
- Action plan for implementing the hybrid strategy to control the COVID-19 epidemic 2021–22, description sheet in English
- The COVID-19 epidemic: regional situation, recommendations and restrictions (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)