Avi: No Covid restrictions on children’s activities in Helsinki region | News


Despite government recommendations, children and young people can continue to participate in supervised recreational activities.

Coronavirus health and safety guidelines must be followed for all indoor recreational activities for children. Image: Antti Ullakko/Yle

The Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) of Southern Finland has decided not to impose coronavirus-related restrictions on leisure and supervised sports activities for children and young people.

In practice, this means that people born in 2003 or later in southern Finland will be able to continue to participate in supervised activities, while taking into account Covid precautions at all times.

The decision of the regional authority comes despite the official recommendations of the ministerial task force on Covid-19. In a January 7 press release, the group recommended that restrictions on indoor spaces be extended to include recreational activities for children and young people given the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

The government’s decision to restrict indoor activities for children has drawn criticism, including from sports associations. Moreover, several experts do not agree with the recommendation.

“Our estimate is that children will not be the driver of the pandemic, so any child-related restrictions are de facto ineffective, but the harm caused is immediate and widespread. The leisure of children and young people should therefore not be restricted systematically and without a thorough examination of local circumstances,” Markku Tervahautadirector general of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) told Yle in an interview on Saturday.

The metropolitan area’s coronavirus coordination group also recommended that Avi maintain previous guidelines on indoor recreational activities for children.

“Imposing restrictions on children’s daily lives has been seen as a last resort throughout the outbreak, and this is something that has also been highlighted by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare” , Oona MolsaSenior Inspector at Avi said in a press release.

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