Decision to lower limit on public events to come into effect despite typo

THE REGIONAL STATE Administrative Agencies (AVI) will uphold their unexpected decision to tighten the restrictions on public events in Finland.

AVI on Wednesday tweeted that its decision to oblige the organisers of events with more than 50 attendees to make sure the attendees can observe social distancing and follow hygiene instructions will enter into effect on 1 September.

The limit will therefore drop from 500 to 50.

Guaranteeing safety with special arrangements at events with over 50 attendees, it argued, is necessary in light of the unfavourable development of the coronavirus epidemic and the increase in infections and exposures in August. The organisers of such events are thus obliged to abide by the instructions of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The announcement has raised eyebrows because the decision to lower the limit was originally based, at least partly, on a typo in the guidelines issued to AVI by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Kirsi Varhila, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, on Tuesday said that the decision would be “rectified” due to the missing zero in the guidelines.

AVI declared earlier that it will re-consider the decision after receiving the updated guidelines but also, as the authority with the power to make decisions on the issue, decide on whether it is necessary to overturn the decision. Its justification for ramping up the restrictions was the worsening epidemiological situation in Finland.

The conclusion, it said yesterday, was that there is no reason to revisit the decision announced on Monday.

“People are participating in events from several localities, meaning that those exposed [to the coronavirus] at the event can spread the infection to a wide area. The restrictions are therefore necessary in the areas of all Regional State Administrative Agencies,” it stated.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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Typo causes confusion about restrictions on public gatherings in Finland

THE MINISTRY of Social Affairs and Health on Monday clarified that it has not changed its position on the restrictions on public gatherings adopted in an attempt to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus in Finland.

The Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI) announced earlier yesterday that the restrictions will be tightened and all gatherings of over 50 will be prohibited as of 1 September.

The much-discussed announcement was made after the agency received new guidelines on public gatherings from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The guidelines, it was reported roughly an hour later, contained a simple typo and set the limit on attendees to 50 instead of 500.

“There was an unfortunate typo in the guidelines from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to the Regional State Administrative Agency,” a ministry spokesperson tweeted.

“The position on the restrictions on public gatherings has not changed. The limit remains at 500 people, not at 50. A zero fell off. We apologise and are currently working on fixing the problem,” they added.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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