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Implementation in Kokkola of measures outlined by the Finnish Government


The City of Kokkola board of directors met on Monday evening to discuss the practical implementation of the measures outlined by the Finnish Government to the extent they can be implemented by the City. These measures will remain in force until 13.4.2020

1.    The Government: Early childhood education and care units and the pre-primary education organised in connection with them will be kept in operation. This will ensure access to early childhood education and care for the children of employees in sectors critical to the functioning of society and enable parents to work. The Government advises parents and guardians who are able to arrange childcare at home to do so.

  • ECEC and pre-primary units will be kept in operation. If parents and guardians can arrange childcare at home, they shall do so. If a child is staying at home, this should be informed via Päiky. If necessary, the City will prepare to close day care units according to the need for day care. Guardians will be informed of this separately via Päiky and Wilma.

2.    The Government: The premises of schools, educational institutions, universities and universities of applied sciences as well as civic education and other liberal education institutes will be closed down, and contact teaching will be suspended. As an exception, however, pre-primary education organised in schools and contact teaching for grades 1–3 will continue for the children of parents working in sectors critical to the functioning of society. A further exception is that contact teaching will continue to be arranged for pupils who require it according to a decision on special-needs support; however, parents and guardians who are able to arrange childcare at home are still requested to do so. The above-mentioned arrangements will enter into force on Wednesday 18 March 2020.

  • Contact teaching in schools will be suspended and school facilities for grades 4-6, 7-9 and upper secondary education will be closed. Teaching for grades 1–3 will continue for the children of parents working in sectors critical to the functioning of society. Contact teaching will continue to be arranged for pupils who require it according to a decision on special-needs support and whose parents and guardians are able not to arrange childcare at home.
  • All schools are open as usual on Tuesday 17.3 and students can, among other things, pick up their learning materials. If students can’t participate on Tuesday 17.3, parents are asked to inform of it via Wilma. Teachers will continue working, but the teaching will be arranged as distance teaching. 
  • All teaching staff for grades 1-3 are present in their own schools until Friday 20.3. By this date, parents are requested to notify via Wilma if the child will participate in distance learning or equivalent education. As of Monday, 23.3, the City can, if necessary, close school units and organise teaching in only part of the units. Guardians are informed directly via Wilma.
  • All classes at Kokkolan seudun opisto will be suspended.

3.    The Government: Instead of contact teaching, the teaching and guidance provided by all universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational education institutes, general upper secondary education and basic education providers will be organised to the widest extent possible in alternative ways, including distance learning, various digital learning environments and solutions and, where necessary, self-learning.

  • Schools will inform how teaching will be arranged via Wilma.             

4.    The Government: The matriculation examinations will be carried out by 23 March 2020 according to the condensed schedule published on 13 March 2020, taking into account the instructions issued by the health authorities.

  • The matriculation examinations will be carried out by 23 March 2020 according to the condensed schedule published on 13 March 2020, taking into account the instructions issued by the health authorities.

5.    The Government: Public gatherings are limited to no more than ten persons, and it is recommend to avoid spending unnecessary time in public places.

6. SR: All national and municipal museums, theatres, the National Opera, cultural venues, libraries, mobile libraries, services for customers and researchers at the National Archives, hobby and leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities, youth centres, clubs, organisations’ meeting rooms, day care services for the elderly, rehabilitative work facilities and workshops will be closed. Private and third-sector operators and religious communities are advised to do the same.

  • All City museums, libraries and mobile libraries, hobby and leisure centres, the swimming centre and other sports facilities, as well as the youth centres will be closed. The City advises that other parties will follow the Government’s guidelines.

7.    The Government: Visits to housing services for the elderly and other at-risk groups will be prohibited.

8.    The Government: Visitors will be banned from care institutions, health care units and hospitals, with the exception of asymptomatic family members of children and critically ill individuals, family members of those in hospice care and spouses or support persons in the maternity ward, who will be permitted to visit on a case-by-case basis.

9.    The Government: Public-sector employers will instruct public-sector employees to work from home if their duties make it possible to do so.

  • The city of Kokkola will ensure opportunities for working from home on Tuesday, 17.3, and define which employees shall work from home. As much as possible will be done from home.

10.  The Government: As a general guideline, persons over 70 years of age must refrain from contact with other persons to the extent possible (quarantine-like conditions), with the exception of members of parliament, the state leadership and elected officials in local government.

11.  The Government: The capacity of healthcare and social welfare services will be increased in the public and private sectors. At the same time, non-urgent activities will be reduced. The capacity of the private sector will be mobilised for public use as necessary. At the same time, statutory deadlines and obligations will be eased.

12.  The Government: The capacity for coronavirus testing will be increased. The National Institute for Health and Welfare will provide support in this respect.

13.  The Government: In the case of critical personnel, exceptions will be made to the provisions of the Working Hours Act and the Annual Holidays Act in both the private and public sector. 

  • Critical personnel may, where necessary, be defined as required by the situation.

14.  The Government: Arrangements will be made to oblige trained professionals in healthcare and social welfare and internal security, in particular, to perform work as necessary.

15.  The Government: The movement of people may be restricted in order to prevent a serious danger to life and health.

16.  The Government: For the sake of public health and health security, preparations will be launched for the closure of Finland’s borders without delay in accordance with international obligations. Passenger transport to Finland will be suspended as soon as possible, with the exception of the return of Finnish citizens and persons residing in Finland. Finnish citizens and persons residing in Finland must not travel abroad. Finnish tourists abroad are advised to return to Finland immediately. Necessary travel for work and to access other necessary services will be permitted across the northern and western borders. Freight and goods traffic will continue as usual.

 17.  The Government: Finns and permanent residents in Finland returning from abroad will be placed in quarantine-like conditions for two weeks.

18.  The Government: Persons returning from abroad must agree on the date of their return to work after a two-week period of absence together with their employer. 

  • In the case of City of Kokkola employees, the previously announced one-week period of absence will be extended to two weeks.

19.  The Government: The Defence Forces will ensure the continuity of their operations and their preparedness in all circumstances. The other authorities will be prepared to provide support as necessary.

Background information on the Emergency Powers Act

The Emergency Powers Act defines various emergency conditions, including an attack on Finland, a particularly serious major accident or a widespread infectious disease, such as the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the Emergency Powers Act is to secure the livelihood of the population and the national economy, to maintain legal order and fundamental and human rights, and to safeguard the territorial integrity and independence of Finland in emergency conditions.

The Emergency Powers Act lays down provisions on the powers of authorities in emergency conditions. The powers defined in the Emergency Powers Act can be exercised only if authorities cannot control the situation with regular powers. Under the Emergency Powers Act, the rights and everyday lives of individuals shall be restricted only if this is necessary to protect the population.

The decision to adopt the powers laid down in the Emergency Powers Act for a maximum period of six months shall be made by Government Decree (enforcement decree) when the Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, has declared that there is a state of emergency in the country. The final decision-making power on adopting the Act rests with Parliament. Parliament will decide whether the additional powers laid down in the Government decree will be adopted in full or in part. Parliament may also decide to repeal the Government Decree.

In an urgent situation, it is possible to introduce additional powers immediately. In that case, the Decree will also be submitted to Parliament immediately. The Decree must be submitted to Parliament within a week of its issue or it will lapse.

The opening hours of City Hall will also be restricted.

Updated 17/03/2020 | Send feedback | Print