Current guidelines

Updated on 22 December 2020

All public events with more than 20 participants between 23.12.2020 and 22.1.2021 are prohibited by order of the Eastern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency. Such events include, among others, concerts, theatre shows, festivals, fairs, as well as sporting events, matches and tournaments.

In its 8.12.2020 bulletin (in Finnish), the regional coronavirus steering group emphasizes recommendations to wear a mask and to refrain from hobbies and leisure travel.

Face masks should be actively worn, particularly indoors when distancing recommendations cannot be effectively observed. Examples of such situations are all public transport as well as public interior premises and public events. Masks are also strongly recommended for schools and other learning institutions.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s face mask instructions for the acceleration phase are worth adopting beforehand: Recommendation on use of face masks for the citizens

Hobby activities should be arranged so that the participants can avoid close contact. In addition, it should be taken into account that some hobbies carry a larger risk of droplet infection. Therefore, premises, group sizes, and distancing should be arranged to minimize risks.

The steering group also recommends avoiding leisure travel to any areas undergoing the spreading or acceleration phase, and to carefully consider the risks of any visit from such areas. On the national level, a recommendation to work remotely as far as possible is in force.


Effects on city services


National and regional guidelines have various effects on the City of Kuopio services.

 
City Hall

The City Hall premises will be closed to the public and event organizers 14.12.2020 – 28.2.2021 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The regional steering group highlights that hobbies should be arranged so that the participants can avoid a close contact. In addition, it should be taken into account that some hobbies, such as choirs, carry an elevated risk of infection. Premises, group sizes and distancing should be arranged to minimize risks in such hobbies. City Hall closed to public events until 28.2.2021 (in Finnish)


 Schools and upper secondary education


A face mask recommendation has been in force in Kuopio upper secondary schools already for some time and this will continue. High school students with limited means can still their masks  from the city’s distribution points.

For middle school (elementary grades seven to nine), an official mask recommendation has not yet been issued in Kuopio. However, the regional steering group has guided middle schools to encourage mask use for both teachers and pupils.
Upper secondary or middle schools will not provide face masks for their pupils/students for the time being. However, the situation is being monitored in cooperation with the infectious disease authorities. If the situations changes for worse, we will switch to community transmission phase mask recommendations, as issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Common, traditional matriculation celebrations and Christmas parties will be cancelled, if the number of participants exceeds the given limit. Celebrations shall be hosted with alternate arrangements: for instance, online or by dividing guests into smaller groups.

Private parties with more than 50 guests (e.g. family gatherings) are not recommended. In small spaces the recommendation is to avoid groups of more than 10 persons.

The Finnish National Agency for Education has instructed schools to prepare and practice for the “Vanhojen tanssit” (Seniors’ Ball) event while closely observing the instructions of THL and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.


Youth centres


Youth services premises will observe all Regional State Administrative Agency and Institute for Health and Welfare instructions to control the coronavirus epidemic. Gatherings and hobbies in youth centres are safe.
 

Elderly and disabled resident services and hobby activities

 

The elderly, the disabled and other at increased risk from the coronavirus should avoid any possibility of exposure, as they are more vulnerable to severe illness.
The city recommends, in particular, that all hobby activities for at-risk groups observe safety arrangements to let participants avoid close contact. In addition, as far as at-risk groups are concerned, the organizers of the hobby activity should take stock of whether the hobby poses an elevated risk of infection. If so, it is recommended to suspend the activity or to make additional arrangements as far as premises, group sizes, and distancing are concerned.
In the visitation health safety traffic light model introduced in the housing units of the Social and Health Services of the City of Kuopio, you can find useful tips for to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to protect one another from infection.
 

Sports facilities and exercise classes

 

Where sports are concerned, the use of a face mask is recommended:

  • In public spaces and public events where close contact cannot be avoided
  • In outdoor tournaments and events that attract large crowds
  • When spectating sports from stands
  • When in public spaces or dressing rooms in sporting premises


Those visiting the Kuntolaakso swimming pool are further instructed as follows:

  • If you are sick, remain home, the swimming pool is off limits even with minor symptoms and two days after they have subsided. If you fall ill in the middle of a swimming pool visit, go home immediately. You should inform staff of your illness.
  • Enjoy swimming alone or with those you live with but keep a safe distance from other visitors and staff throughout your visit.
  • Follow the normal washing instructions posted in the building and observe good hand hygiene, particularly in the toilets and before entering the pool area.
  • The public hair dryers are not in use, nor is the use of your own dryer recommended.
  • The staff will instruct you further if necessary. Please follow staff instructions and remember safe distancing also when approaching them.
  • In Kuntolaakso, we recommend avoiding visits Mon–Fri 6 am to 8 am, allowing those at risk safe use of the pool at that time.

There is an additional set of general coronavirus instructions for sporting premises users.

City of Kuopio exercise classes will continue until the end of the season. Customer safety will be guaranteed by observing official recommendations. A face mask recommendation remains in force, especially when entering and exiting sporting premises. Safe distancing should also be observed and the premises only entered when healthy. Good hand and coughing hygiene should be observed.


Libraries

 

The current guidelines do not impact the basic functions of the Kuopio City Library. Libraries continue to offer normal basic services while observing Institute of Health and Warfare recommendations. Events in the library will be limited and mainly conducted online.

The use of a face mask is recommended while in library premises.

See more about library safety.

 
Museums


Limitations on public gatherings do not impact the basic functions of the museums. The museums continue to offer normal basic services while observing Institute of Health and Warfare recommendations. However, no events may be arranged in the museums, nor will customer groups of over 10 people be received.

Use of a face mask is recommended when in the museum premises. Museums take precautions, including: limiting customer numbers if necessary, enhancing cleaning, avoiding unnecessary personal contact, observing protective measures, not organizing events, classes, or guided tours, and not offering café or cantina services until further notice.

 
Community college


The limitations do not impact the operation of the Kuopio Community College at this stage. Courses are about to end, and group sizes were reduced in the beginning of the autumn term.

Community college events (concerts, exhibitions, dance and theatre shows) can only have a maximum of 50 customers present at once. The events will, whenever possible, be streamed online or recorded for later online distribution.


Music Centre and city orchestra


The Kuopio Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its autumn program in the Kuopio Music Centre until the end of 2020. See more information about replacing already paid tickets with a gift card, or a refund, in the Music centre’s own bulletin (1.12.2020).
 

City theatre


The Kuopio City Theatre will cancel all shows until the end of 2020. See more information about replacing tickets or a refund in the theatres own bulletin (1.12.2020).

 
Cinemas


Kino Kuvakukko will limit showings to a maximum of 50 viewers.

In Kino Mantu, the maximum allowed number of viewers is 30.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and Institute of Health and Welfare instructions will be observed to ensure customer safety.
 

Community Houses


The City of Kuopio Community Houses remain open (apart from the Männistö house). Gathering size limits will be enforced in the houses, with no more than 50 people in large premises and no more than 10 people in small premises.

See more: www.kuopio.fi/asukastuvat