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    The safest place on a Finnish bus is now next to a fluffy stranger – Social distancing managed by plushies

    Published on December 18, 2020

    Southern Finland has officially reached the second wave of the pandemic and new strict restrictions have been set in place. This is why local Prisma hypermarkets owned by HOK-Elanto, the biggest retailer in the region, decided to give a gentle reminder to the users of local public transport that social distancing is now more crucial than ever. With Christmas spirit in mind they placed giant plushies to buses and a public transport ferry boat to demonstrate the importance of keeping distance.

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    Recently health officials in Finland announced that the second wave of coronavirus has officially reached Southern Finland and more specifically the region of Uusimaa. This has led to new strict restrictions on for example face masks and social distancing. It has been publicly said that if these restrictions don’t work new restrictions might be set for Christmas holidays.

    “Finns are known for keeping their distance even without a global pandemic but maintaining the recommended distance in public transportation might be challenging. We wanted to demonstrate social distancing in a positive way that might even make someone smile – because to be honest that’s what we need now. So what would be a better way to remind people to keep their distance than to bring some fluffy passengers to sit next to them in buses”, Communications and Marketing Director Tuomas Ahola from HOK-Elanto, the retailer operating Prisma hypermarkets in the Southern Finland region.

    Even though most of the Finns have switched to remote working, many jobs still require being physically present. This is why HOK-Elanto joined forces with Savonlinja, a public transport operator in Southern Finland. In addition to travelling in buses the plushies spend one day on a public transport ferry boat. Plushies are cleaned regularly to ensure safety and proper hygiene. After spending time on buses the plushies are cleaned and donated to the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki.

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