Passengers step off a tram in Helsinki/Lehtikuva

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The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) has announced that it will begin implementing a mask mandate for all public transport in the Greater Helsinki region from 13 March onwards. 

The move comes on the heels of state railway company VR’s announcement that all passengers (over the age of 12) travelling on long-distance and commuter trains must wear a face mask. VR’s new regulations came into effect on Thursday. 

In both cases, passengers are exempt from using a mask only in case of legitimate health reasons such as medical conditions. 

VR has stated that it will allow passengers without masks onboard its trains and will not mandate proof for medical exemptions. Masks can also be purchased on long-distance trains.  

According to HSL, on average, 80 per cent of passengers currently wear face masks when using public transport. From Saturday onwards, commuters may be prompted to use masks by ticket collectors and security guards. 

The new regulations are aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID- 19 virus. The situation in Finland has been worsening since December, with new strains of the virus leading to a surge in infections across the country. 

 

Tahira Sequeira

Helsinki Times




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