How to safely organize an event for Helsinki Design Week

These instructions have been created based on the City of Helsinki’s instructions.

You may not attend any public event, gathering or space if you are having symptoms of illness. Each participant is responsible for their own safety.

The event organizer should remind the participants about health issues through as many channels as possible before and during the event (website, social media, ticket sales and arrival at the event).

Physical contact is to be avoided

Coronavirus mainly spreads through droplets. Ensure the possibility to maintain safe distance in order to avoid person-to-person contact. It is a good idea to limit the number of attendants so that people can participate at 1–2 metres distance.

For example, safe distance can be created with screen walls or plexiglass between tables. In addition, trained security guards and the festival staff will be controlling the distances as necessary. You will want to invest in sufficient staff and their training because of this exceptional situation.

If queues appear, you will need to remind and help people maintain safe distances. You will want to schedule the event so that there is no risk of overcrowding at entrance or exit, by arranging as many entrance and exit routes as possible and by taking enough space for them. Queueing for food, drink and toilets must be organized to maintain safe distances.

Serving food

We recommend selling only pre-packed food and easy-to-hand takeaway products. If you want to offer unpacked food from a cart, for example, you must have the food ready and portioned for each particular person.

We recommend not to use the same serving utensils repeatedly.


Avoid exchanging cash as far as possible. If people are to pay on location, we recommend using card and proximity payment, mobile pay and other contactless ways of paying. The payment terminals are to be cleaned and disinfected more than usual.

Hand-washing and responsible coughing will prevent infections.

Hand sanitation points are to be placed at entrance and exit routes, and the area is to include several hand-washing facilities equipped with disposable paper towels.


Coronavirus mainly spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is possible for the virus to spread through touching another person. However, the virus does not stay infectious for a ling time in the air or on a surface. Use a mildly alkaline multi-purpose cleaner and in sanitary facilities, a disinfectant to enhance cleaning. When cleaning, please pay special attention to the surfaces being touched, such as door handles, counter tops, light switches and taps.

Avoid sharing computers and terminals during the event.

Infections and exposure

If a virus infection is noticed during a public event or gathering:

Tracking the infection chain is a task of a municipal or district doctor in charge of infectious diseases. The epidemiologic operations unit of the City of Helsinki can be emailed at

Please also inform us about the exposure at

If an event participant is found to be infected with coronavirus:

  • Contact the epidemiologic operations unit of the City of Helsinki to track the infection chain.
  • Find out if exposure has happened (e.g. ticket sales information or other personal and contact data collected (voluntary basis and GDPR).
  • According to the Finnish Communicable Diseases Act, a municipal or district doctor in charge of infectious diseases may order a quarantine of 14 days for the exposed person.

By limiting the number of participants in public events and by avoiding mixing different groups, it is possible to reduce the number of persons exposed to coronavirus.


Communications should be paid special attention to so that all event participants can feel safe to attend. Communications should occupy as many channels as possible before, during and after the event.

In addition, it is a good idea to create new and utilize existing Q&A lists.


If for some reason you need to cancel your event, please update information on the Helsinki Design Week website. Write PERUTTU before the Finnish title and CANCELLED before the English title of the event. E.g. “CANCELLED Exhibition at Showroom”. Make sure that the information is found in social media and Facebook events, too.

Please inform us about the cancellation so that we know to update our other communication channels; please email us at

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