GeneralLegislationNews

COVID-19 HYBRID STRATEGY

Finland will adopt a three-tier hybrid plan. Under this strategy, restrictions will be tightened tier by tier depending on the development of the pandemic.

At tier 1, travel restrictions will be tightened. In fact, this means that non-residents’ arrival to Finland is restricted. Also, all measures for the community under so called “transmission phase” ruling and recommendations will be implemented in such geographical areas where the epidemic has reached the “transmission phase”. 

In current situation, Finland has already entered into the tier 1. Travel restrictions have once again been tightened. The Government implemented the new restrictions to take effect on 27 January and remain in force until 25 February. The restrictions are based on efforts to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants in Finland. Also “transmission phase” ruling and recommendations have been implemented fully or partly in critical municipalities in Finland.

At tier 2, community ”transmission phase” measures will be introduced for the entire area of Finland for a limited period of time, regardless of the corona situation in the area. The most extensive remote work recommendation and a mask recommendation may also be introduced in all areas of the country just like the reduction of the maximum number of persons permitted at gatherings.

Transition to the tier 2 requires that the criteria for community “transmission phase” are met in at least half of Finland’s hospital districts or virus variants can be found regionally and quantitatively, so that preventing the spread of the virus requires immediate action. In addition, the transition to tier 2 requires separate approval from the Government.

Other measures under the communicable diseases legislation at tier 2 should be decided before placing restrictions on children and young people such as transition of the upper grades of comprehensive school to distance learning and suspending group hobbies. However, proactive measures must be taken into account to support children and young people by minimizing the harmful effects of the restrictions to their wellbeing.

At tier 3, a state of emergency will be declared and restrictions on travelling inside Finland will be introduced. Such action would require the introduction of Emergency Powers Act.

Transition to the tier 3 requires that the restrictions under tiers 1 and 2 are insufficient and the carrying capacity of health care is in danger of being exceeded, or that the measure is necessary to protect the life or health of the population.