Shops to ease restrictions regarding the coronavirus – the use of masks can be abandoned according to regional authorities’ recommendations
The requirement to wear a mask in a shop may be lifted in areas where public authorities no longer recommend the use of a mask in public indoor spaces.
The Finnish Commerce Federation and the Finnish Grocery Trade Association propose to their member companies that the use of masks in shops can be immediately abandoned in areas where there are no official recommendations on the use of masks in public indoor spaces. We emphasize the recommendations of authorities and experts* as well as patience in the process of easing the restrictions regarding the coronavirus.
“The retail industry wants to help ensure that shops continue to be a safe environment for customers and employees. The restrictions regarding the coronavirus in shops can be eased because vaccine coverage has improved, the government has updated its hybrid strategy and health authorities have issued new guidelines,” says Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
According to the Infectious Diseases Act, shops are still obliged to provide the opportunity for customers to clean their hands at their premises, give instructions on how to visit safely and take care of enhanced cleaning practices.
“We urge everyone to act with patience and always in accordance with regional recommendations. For example, on 6 October, as many as 15 out of 21 hospital districts continue to recommend wearing a mask indoors in public. The situation is constantly changing,” says Kari Luoto, Managing Director of the Finnish Grocery Trade Association.
Other restrictions regarding the coronavirus involving shops can be phased out gradually and with careful consideration. These include the time high-risk groups spend in a shop, restrictions on the organisation of campaigns, as well as special shift arrangements and the end of the remote work recommendation.
Safety instructions for customers
- Only visit a shop while healthy
- Clean your hands when entering a shop, cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Keep a safe distance from others
- If there is an official recommendation to wear a mask in a public area, use one while shopping as well
- Particularly during peak hours, queuing and service situations that last a long time (more than 15 consecutive minutes in the vicinity of another individual), consider wearing a mask in all parts of the country
- In order to protect shop personnel, the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Finnish Grocery Trade Association recommend getting vaccinated against COVID-19, unless there is a health impediment
By following these instructions, you will protect yourself, shop staff and other customers, while also ensuring that transactions are as safe and uninterrupted as possible.
For further information, please contact:
Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 50 511 3189, mari.kiviniemi(at)kauppa.fi
Kari Luoto, Managing Director, Finnish Grocery Trade Association, tel. +358 40 068 8708, kari.luoto(at)pty.fi
*Attention must be paid nationally to sections 58 c and d of the Infectious Diseases Act, which will remain in force until 31 December 2021. Section 58 c obliges all shops throughout the country and 58 d is in use, if necessary, by decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency.