Towards the new normal – preparation instructions for workplaces

Has your workplace already started to plan for post-COVID-19 times? In these instructions, you can find tips for safely lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Restrictions on gatherings will be lifted in Uusimaa from 1 October. The remote work recommendation is still in effect for now, but it may change on 15 October if vaccination coverage is at a sufficient level.

Restrictions should be lifted on the terms of the progress of the epidemic while keeping a close eye on the local situation. Employees may start to return to workplaces if it’s possible and safe according to a risk assessment and the regional situation.

Remote work and meetings can, of course, also be encouraged in the future if they are considered a good practice in your working community. Protection against COVID-19 should continue to be taken into account if the amount of in-office work in the workplace increases. The employer must take the regulations and recommendations of authorities into account and update the instructions they have issued because, as national instructions end, workplaces will become more responsible for making sure that working is safe.

Protecting yourself in the workplace

Continue to keep a safe distance. It’s also a good idea to wear a face mask indoors if multiple people are working in the same space. It must be possible for employees to wash their hands indoors, and, if needed, enhanced cleaning of facilities and surfaces is a good idea.

Health-related concerns may also suddenly increase at workplaces when the practices used during the exceptional situation start to be changed after a long period of time. That is why it’s important to create a plan together with employees for returning to the new normal safely and gradually. Reserve time for discussion and questions.

When should you get tested?

According to the recommendation issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, fully vaccinated people with mild symptoms do not need to get tested. COVID-19 tests will now be carried out on people who have symptoms matching those of COVID-19 and who either have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 at all or have received only one dose of the vaccine.

People who work in social and health care, are in a risk group or have had a confirmed exposure to COVID-19 in the past two weeks will also be referred for a COVID-19 test if:

  • they have mild symptoms and are fully vaccinated.
  • have mild symptoms, have had COVID-19 more than six months ago and have received a single dose of the vaccine.

The employer may also still ask employees to get tested for COVID-19 because of things like work trips or an exposure at the workplace. When travelling for work, please take the country-specific health security instructions into account. THL recommends that everyone planning to travel abroad get fully vaccinated before travelling.

Would you like to receive guidance and advice about occupational health?

The occupational health service is happy to provide advice and guidance on lifting the restrictions set under these exceptional circumstances. We are also there to help if you need assistance in making the risk assessment.

You can also get individual or group support for handling the concerns at the workplace. Please turn to the occupational health nurse assigned to your organisation.

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