Covid-19: Frontpage

Here you can read the pandemic working and performance guidelines for the performing arts sector

National recommendations for the safe construction, rehearsal and performance of productions during the coronavirus pandemic have been prepared for the free use of the entire field of performing art in cooperation with industry organisations, institutions and professionals. The purpose of the recommendations is to give the relevant organizations instructions and tools for preparing local coronavirus pandemic guidance, and to support practical operations during the pandemic. COVID-19 experts from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have been consulted when drawing up these recommendations.

NOTE! The recommendations presented on this page were originally prepared in late spring 2020. The national recommendations for the performing arts sector may be complied with where applicable, taking into account the current regional recommendations and restrictions from issued by the authorities.

It is not possible to provide ready guidance for all performing arts, because the performing arts organizations, working methods and working spaces vary greatly.

Therefore, organizations must always carry out a local risk assessment and safety plan to the extent required by the current pandemic situation.

Finland is currently implementing a so-called hybrid strategy to curb the COVID-19 epidemic. The strategic measures have been classified according to the phase of the epidemic in each region, and the authority to issue orders to manage the epidemic has been given to the regions, i.e. Regional State Administrative Agencies and municipalities. The phases of the epidemic are the base level, the acceleration phase and the spreading, or community transmission phase. Due to the hybrid strategy, regional orders must be followed.

If the national recommendations are in any way inconsistent with the authorities’ guidelines in force at the time, the authorities’ guidelines have priority. The original guidelines were prepared in May–June 2020 and will be updated if the authorities’ guidelines change or the pandemic situation changes.  In this respect, to help you verify the timeliness of the instructions, the end of each page will have update information on possible changes to the guidelines and the timing of the changes.

Background to the project

A project group composed of representatives of these organizations is behind the compilaation of the guidelines: the Association of Finnish Theatres (Suomen Teatterit ry), Theatre Centre (Teatterikeskus ry), the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras (Suomen Sinfoniaorkesterit ry) and the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. The project group convened invited professionals from around Finland and as many institutions as possible to form subordinate working groups. The work has also been evaluated by an evaluation group representing the field extensively.

The guidelines have been drawn up to complement the authorities’ instructions to ensure that, in the performing arts sector, due attention is paid to both occupational and public safety during the pandemic.

The spring 2020 project group consisted of:

Chairperson Arto Valkama (Turku City Theatre), Kaisa Paavolainen (Theatre Centre), Samuli Nuutinen (Finnish National Opera and Ballet), Miika Suomalainen (Finnish National Theatre), Antti Timonen (Helsinki City Theatre), Timo Tuovila (Finnish National Opera and Ballet), Anna Veijalainen (KokoTeatteri), secretary and project mangaer Minna Nieminen, Ritva Kaukola (Radio Symphony Orchestra), Teemu Kirjonen (Sinfonia Lahti), Leevi Mentula (Association of Finnish Theatres), Tommi Saarikivi (Association of Finnish Theatres) and Helena Värri (Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras).

Subordinate working groups on the project:

Props (leader: Elina Terho, Finnish National Opera and Ballet)
Wardrobe (leader: Nina Virkki, Helsinki City Theatre)
Makeup (leader: Henri Karjalainen, Helsinki City Theatre)
Scenery (leader: Tapio Säkkinen, Finnish National Opera and Ballet)
Continuity assurance (leader: Joachim Thibblin, Svenska Teatern)
Audience safety (leader: Antti Pylkkänen, Helsinki Music Centre)
Orchestras (leader: Helena Värri, Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras)
Stage work activities (leader: Vesa Huittinen, Oulu City Theatre)

Update information

Updated January 10, 2022: regional restrictions continue.

Updated October 6, 2021: updated both the Front page and the Personnel safety page to include a note of the lifting of restrictions and compliance with the recommendations where applicable.

Updated October 1, 2021: updated the Audience safety page to include a note of the lifting of the restrictions imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agency and to add the recommendation issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture on October 1, 2021.

Personnel safety -page updated on 13 August 2021: Added the mention of the FFP2 mask, added the chapter “COVID-19 vaccinations and testing” and updated the information about the possibility of airborne transmission.

Updated on 4 June 2021: added the updated instructions of THL and the Ministry of Education and Culture and changed 2 m distance to sufficient distance.

Updated on 23 February 2021: updated physical distance to 2 metres, added mask recommendation in all situations.

Updated on 5 November 2020: added Hybrid strategy.

The Finnish version of the page updated on 14 June 2020.