Ministry of Social Affairs and Health orders to wear masks in social welfare services
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued a decision ordering those working in close contact with clients to wear a mask in social welfare units providing 24-hour care and in home care services. The aim is to protect clients with an elevated risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
If surgical nose-mouth masks are not available, the staff must wear washable or disposable fabric masks or visors covering their faces.
The decision helps to protect all clients who belong to at-risk groups. In social welfare services, these clients are usually elderly people. The decision does not apply to the protection of staff or those who are ill. Instructions have already been issued on that.
The decision has been issued under the Emergency Powers Act. It enters into force immediately and will remain in force until 30 June 2020.
- Decision on taking guidance measures in social welfare under section 86 of the Emergency Powers Act: Protection of social welfare clients from the coronavirus (COVID-19) (available only in Finnish and Swedish)
Jaska Siikavirta, Director
Kirsi Ruuhonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser