Friday 5/20/22
PANDEMIC

Covid measures extended in Finland, despite PM's upbeat assessment

The requirements for teaching at universities will also be relaxed so that more face-to-face lectures can take place. Intra-EU border controls will also be lifted at the end of the month

The Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin. Photo: Janina Orjasniemi/Finnish government.
The Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin. Photo: Janina Orjasniemi/Finnish government.

The Finnish government is extending most of the current Covid-19 restrictions until mid-February, after which it hopes to relax them gradually, it announced on Tuesday.

Some of the measures are to be dropped at the end of January - including the recommendation that group activities by children and younger people should be avoided, the government said.

The requirements for teaching at universities will also be relaxed so that more face-to-face lectures can take place. Intra-EU border controls will also be lifted at the end of the month.

Radio station Yle reported that Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin was optimistic that the country could see a gradual easing of its current restrictions from mid-February onwards once the wave of omicron cases is over.

However, Marin stressed that the pandemic continued to make the current measures necessary for the time being.

Omicron cases increasing

As elsewhere in Europe, the number of new infections in Finland has risen sharply in recent weeks, driven by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

The Finnish Health Institute THL has said it expected the peak to be reached in late January or early February.

However, according to government figures, the burden on intensive care units is significantly lower than that caused by previous virus variants.

Covid measures extended in Finland, despite PM's upbeat assessment
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