Everything changes: Your guide to coronavirus life in Finland from 1st June

Do you know all the new rules, regulations and recommendations are from Monday morning? We've compiled a list of the things you need to know.

File picture of Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki, showing pedestrians and trams / Credit: iStock

On Monday 1st June there is a whole range of new rules, regulations and recommendations coming into play as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

While the government still recommends against leisure travel abroad, and suggests foreign travel only for essential reasons like crossing Schengen borders for work, there is now no restriction on domestic travel. So if you want to go to summer cottage the new advice is to take precautions on your journey and not to go to m√∂kki if you’re feeling sick.

Restaurants, bars and cafes re-opening

From Monday morning restaurants, cafes and bars are once again open for business but with new ways of working.

Businesses can open from 06:00 and are allowed to serve alcohol from 09:00 until 22:00, which must be consumed before closing at 23:00. Customers must be socially distanced inside, with a maximum 50% occupancy – and everyone must be seated, not standing at the bar.

There’s no limit on the number of people who can be outside on a terrace but again there’s supposed to be social distancing with customers two metres apart, and increased hygiene and cleaning.

Unfortunately no buffets are allowed yet, but authorities will be reviewing the new regulations and could change things again before Midsummer.

Public places open again: swimming pools, museums, libraries

Public places which have been closed for the last few months can now open in a controlled manner.

That list includes museums, theaters, cultural venues, libraries, hobby sports facilities, leisure centres, swimming pools, youth centres and workshops (among others!)

There’s no limit to the number of people who can go into a library, shopping centre or sports centre but everyone is encouraged to keep two metres distance between themselves and other people (and if the library organises a special event, that specific happening can only have a maximum of 50 people in attendance).

Changes to restrictions on gatherings

Public events can take place with a maximum of 50 people from 1st June, and although those restrictions don’t apply to private events, the government recommends against organising a private birthday party for more than 50 guests.

So what is defined as a “public event”? It means any meetings or demonstrations that are open to all, and organised to exercise a right of freedom of assembly; it also includes entertainment events, competitions or performances that are open to the public.

But a “public event” is not defined as the use of a sports facility or a shopping centre so there is no restriction on the number of people at those venues (although we are all reminded about good hand hygiene and social distancing if we visit those places).

It is going to be possible to organise an event for up to 500 people under special arrangement with local authorities – but public events of more than 500 people are banned until at least 31st July.

The police will continue to monitor compliance with restrictions on gatherings, but they’re unlikely to intervene at private events unless they pose a threat to public order and security.