Safe return to on-site work – use a mask, stay home if you are ill, and take the coronavirus vaccines

Publication date 3 Mar 2022

The national recommendation for remote work ended on 1 March 2022. To ensure as safe a return to on-site work as possible, measures taken by individual people to prevent the spread of infections are more important than ever.

“As the coronavirus epidemic wanes, and with high vaccine coverage, it has been possible to open up society, and recommendations for remote work can finally be lifted. However, the epidemic has not gone away, and when returning to on-site work it is sensible to continue to protect one's own safety and that of those in close proximity by taking vaccines and through measures already learned”, says Mika Salminen, Director at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Remember to wear a mask, stay home if you have symptoms

“Vaccines are the most important way to protect yourself and the people around you. Both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can protect their own health and that of others by social distancing, wearing face masks, and washing their hands. Those with symptoms must stay at home until they are well”, Salminen adds.

“Hygiene practices are not for workplaces alone; they also apply to commuting. Especially in crowded public transport, it is still wise to wear a mask”, Salminen says.

“In spite of everything, after two years of living under an epidemic, it is important to start living a more normal life. The virus is among us, and it cannot be made to disappear completely. There is no need for self-recrimination or feeling guilty if in spite of taking precautions one gets an infection, and possibly exposes another person”, Salminen observes in conclusion.

Checklist for those returning to on-site work

  • Wear a mask. Wearing a face mask is especially important in public indoor areas, such as crowded public transport vehicles with many people crowded near each other.
  • Keep a safe distance to others. It is good to keep a safe distance whenever possible.
  • Make sure that you have adequate vaccine protection. Vaccines protect against serious illness. We recommend a third vaccine dose for everyone over the age of 18.
  • Stay at home if you are ill, and do not return to on-site work until you are well again. Take a home test if necessary.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds at a time. Shaking hands should be avoided when the coronavirus is spreading.
  • Cough into your sleeve or a tissue. The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes.
  • If possible, avoid the most crowded on-site work days. Practices at different workplaces vary, but if the coming days can be staggered, taking advantage of the possibility is worthwhile.
  • Ventilate workspaces. Ventilating small meeting rooms between meetings is especially effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Further information:

Mika Salminen
[email protected]

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