Ministry of Social Affairs and Health guidelines to municipalities on how to implement rehabilitative work between 1 June and 31 July 2020
Rehabilitative work implemented as group activities may be resumed starting from 1 June. General guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing shall be taken into consideration in the practical arrangements to prevent coronavirus infections.
Alternative ways of carrying out rehabilitative work may be continued until the end of July, but not exclusively. Physical presence and the face-to-face meeting arrangements will be determined based on each customer’s individual situation.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health encourages municipalities to inform customers about the precautions used in rehabilitative work activities to prevent coronavirus infections. This is to prevent any unnecessary fears about participation in the activities.
Effective from 1 June 2020, the updated guidelines will replace the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on 8 April 2020 on how to implement rehabilitative work and certain social welfare services. The guidelines are in effect until 31 July 2020 and apply only to the special arrangements during the coronavirus epidemic.
New guidelines based on changes in epidemiological situation and the gradual lifting of restrictions
The new guidelines to municipalities issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are based on the government resolution of 6 May 2020, which states that public indoor facilities now closed will be reopened in a controlled and gradual manner on 1 June as the epidemic is subsiding.
This also applies to rehabilitative work activities and work activity centres, as well as certain other group-based social welfare services such as group activities in social rehabilitation or work and day activities for people with disabilities.
Municipalities responsible for rehabilitative work
Municipalities are responsible for organising rehabilitative work. The municipality may not suspend rehabilitative work on the basis of the coronavirus infection situation, unless specifically ordered by the infectious disease authorities to do so under the Communicable Diseases Act.
Many municipalities closed their facilities for rehabilitative work activities when the Government banned gatherings of more than ten persons on 16 March 2020. The restrictions on meetings or public events do not apply to the various forms of rehabilitative work and social welfare services.
The purpose of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is to ease municipalities’ uncertainty about what kind of rehabilitative work can be carried out during the epidemic.
The Ministry has encouraged municipalities to develop alternative ways of carrying out rehabilitative work in cooperation with the third sector and other operators during the emergency conditions. Municipalities may use their discretion in deciding which alternative forms of rehabilitative work referred to in the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on 8 April 2020 they will continue to arrange between 1 June and 31 July 2020.