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Finland drops general face mask recommendation

Finland is dropping its general face mask use recommendation, the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said in a press release issued on Thursday.

However, the country’s health authority still recommends face mask use on public transport, in indoor public settings and at COVID-19 testing and treatment facilities. People with respiratory symptoms and those exposed to coronavirus are also advised to continue wearing face masks.

The THL reiterated that symptomatic people should stay at home until their symptoms have subsided.

The recommendation update does not apply to workplaces, where the guidelines are determined by employers based on instructions from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

According to the THL, regional mask recommendations may vary.

Despite the update of the recommendation, people can still use the mask at their own discretion.

Otto Helve, the THL’s chief physician, said in the press release that unvaccinated people over the age of 12, as well as those at risk of severe COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status, should consider using a mask.