Recommendation to work remotely continues until the end of September in areas in acceleration or community transmission phase
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have reviewed the rationale for the national recommendation to work remotely. In view of the epidemiological situation the vaccine coverage is not yet sufficient, which is why no changes are proposed to the recommendation. The recommendation will continue to be in force until 30 September in areas that are in the acceleration or community transmission phase. The rationale for the recommendation will be reassessed in mid-September.
The nature of the epidemic has changed since early summer. Now the numbers of infections reported are so high that the situation may deteriorate quite quickly despite the progress made in vaccinations. In addition, at the moment most of the cases are caused by the Delta variant, which spreads more easily that the other known variants. Extensive remote work has been considered to limit the spreading of the disease.
Now that the vaccine coverage is improving, the process to prepare for the transition from remote work to a hybrid model will be started without delay. On the national level work on the transition to a hybrid work model will be done in cooperation between the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, ministries, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and labour market organisations.
The Government assessed the different measures to prevent infections in January 2021 and decided on drafting an action plan concerning a gradual process to prepare for opening up society. As part of the action plan for implementing the hybrid strategy, the ministries were tasked with reassessing the rationale for the recommendation and whether it should be continued by the end of August.
In their work the ministries made use of the assessments of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health concerning both the epidemiological situation and its development and the impacts of remote work as a measure to prevent COVID-19 infections.
Juha Sarkio, Director General, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 031, juha.sarkio(at)vm.fi
Raimo Antila, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 094, raimo.antila(at)stm.fi