Restrictions eased for Finland’s elderly as coronavirus crisis moves into summer

Previous rules that said older people should stay inside in quarantine-like conditions are now being relaxed.

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File picture of elderly couple / Credit: iStock

The Government has unveiled new guidelines for older people during the coronavirus crisis, stressing a flexible individual approach to keeping them safe.

These new instructions are more relaxed than before, when official guidance for the over-70s was to stay inside in quarantine-like conditions.

At a Wednesday briefing, Minister for Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) said those at risk from the virus must be protected as long as possible, however the new guidelines would allow people to assess for themselves the best course of action and take their own circumstances into consideration.

The idea is that for Finland’s estimated 800,000 people aged over 70, there should be social distancing but not complete isolation.

While handshakes and hugging are still not allowed officials say it’s now okay to meet friends as long as good hand hygiene is practiced, and as long as people stay two meters apart.

Nordic walking, berry picking, gardening or moving around in nature are encouraged to help with overall well-being and mental health – as are indoor activities like baking and crafts.

Officials stress the importance of good health in general for older people, and say it’s essential not to cancel doctor’s appointments or skip treatment for long-term illnesses.