Tue, 25 Jan 2022

HELSINKI, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Finland's capital city and the surrounding Uusimaa region have relaxed the COVID-19 quarantine requirement and contact tracing is restricted to city-run housing units, care facilities and healthcare units for at-risk groups from Jan. 10, the city of Helsinki said in a press release issued on Monday.

Those exposed to the virus from family members, at the workplace, in schools or in early childhood education are no longer quarantined under the country's Communicable Diseases Act. If a person has mild symptoms and is not at risk, he or she should not go to a COVID-19 test site but should stay at home, the national broadcaster Yle explained.

Besides the Helsinki region, the new rule will also apply in the southern regions of Espoo, Vantaa, Hyvinkaa, Jarvenpaa, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Mantsala, Nurmijarvi, Pornais, Porvoo and Tuusula.

Throughout Finland, the number of daily COVID-19 cases has multiplied since the beginning of December last year, which has severely congested the country's hospitals and testing centers.

Juha Jolkkonen, director of Helsinki's Social Affairs and Health Care Department, told YLE that the city currently registers around 10,000 new infections per week. The incidence rate has nearly tripled between Dec. 24, 2021, and Jan. 6.

On Monday, Helsinki opened a reserve hospital for COVID-19 patients. Next week, the city will also start administering COVID-19 vaccines to students in grades 1-5.

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 23,325 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in the country since Friday.

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