THL general mask recommendation is being lifted, but masks may still be used according to personal discretion

Publication date 20 Apr 2022

The general recommendation issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) to use masks is being lifted with three exceptions.

THL recommends the continued use of masks in public indoor spaces and public transport

  • for those seeking treatment or a test because of a suspicion of coronavirus infection
  • for those with symptoms of respiratory infection, who nevertheless have essential reasons to move outside their home 
  • for those who know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 (for example, infections have been diagnosed in the family) and for whom close contact with outsiders cannot be avoided.

For those with symptoms, the primary recommendation is always to stay at home until the symptoms have passed.

Despite the updated recommendations, each person may continue to use masks at their own discretion, for example, in indoor areas in which averting close contact is difficult. 

“Especially those aged 12 and over who have not been vaccinated, and all who are susceptible to severe coronavirus disease regardless of vaccination status, should consider using a mask that also protects the user effectively”, says THL Chief Physician Otto Helve

At the level of the entire population there are no reasons based on effectiveness in the current epidemic situation in which even their widespread use as an individual act would not significantly impede the spread of the virus.

Vaccinations are the best way to protect against COVID-19

Coronavirus vaccines are overwhelmingly the most effective way to protect against the disease. Although vaccinations will not completely prevent infections, they offer very effective protection against the severe form of the disease.

The THL mask recommendation does not apply to workplaces and working situations in which the use of masks is based on occupational safety and customer safety. Employers are responsible for these, as instructed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

In addition, different regions can have local mask recommendations in force. It is recommended that each person should follow communications of their own municipality or hospital district on the use of masks in their area.

Social and health care services have their own recommendations and instructions on the use of protective covers. 


Transmission and protection, including mask instructions 

There are instructions on mask use on many of our other web pages as well. We will be updating them soon. 

Otto Helve
Chief Physician
Tel. +358 29 524 7711
[email protected]

Infektiotaudit ja rokotukset Main site koronavirus_en - thlfi-en