HELSINKI The Regional Transport Agency (HSL) and the state railway company VR have announced their decision to waive the requirement for passengers to wear a face mask in public transport.
HSL clarified in a press release on Monday that it will continue to urge passengers to wear a face mask on public transport in accordance with national recommendations.
Similarly, VR announced that it would replace the mandate with a recommendation that passengers could decide for themselves whether to wear a mask on their trains. “However, VR still recommends wearing masks during the trip,” VR says in a statement.
HSL and VR employees continue to use masks in tasks that interact face-to-face with customers.
Mika NykänenHSL’s CEO pointed out that the transport company is only adapting its guidelines to those of the Finnish healthcare authorities. The Department of Health and Welfare (THL), he stressed, estimates that the risk of infection in urban public transport is low.
“This view is also supported by VTT’s research [Technical Research Centre of Finland], ”He said added. “Public transport has served locals safely throughout the coronavirus pandemic and allowed society to act. We want to make sure that this continues to be the case. “
VR revealed on Monday that public perceptions of the mask mandate have changed during the fall.
“According to our September customer survey, only 43 percent of our customers were in favor of a mask mandate, compared to 58 percent in August.” was revealed Topi Simola, VR ‘s Director of Passenger Transport.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT