Tuesday. 18.06.2024

Finnish Government met on Wednesday 22 April to update its strategy for preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease.

At the end of the meeting, the Government reported at a press conference of its intention to move towards a less restrictive scenario, in line with the Communicable Diseases Act. However, Prime Minister Sanna Marin explained that some restrictions currently in force will stay at least for three more months.

This is the case of those that affect the celebration of large summer events, for example popular and musical festivals. The Government has decided that public events and gatherings of more than 500 people should continue to be banned until at least 31 July.

"Under the Communicable Diseases Act, the regional state administrative agencies can prohibit public events and gatherings for no more than one month at a time. As far as events in late summer and early autumn are concerned, an assessment will be made no later than the start of June," the Government said.

Schools

Regarding the other major issue in the agenda, the possible reopening of the schools during this spring term, the final decision will be made next next week.

"Proposals concerning education establishments and early childhood education and care will be presented in such a way that decisions on the continuation of restrictive measures can already be taken before the start of May. This will ensure that education providers have time to make preparations for arranging contact teaching if necessary," says the Government Communications Department in a press release.

Exiting restrictive measures

The preparation group led by Permanent Secretary Martti Hetemäki is to draw up a plan by 1 May for exiting the restrictive measures in a timely manner and for moving to the next stage in curbing the progress of the disease. The Government is to meet on 3 May to discuss the matter.

Government says the aim continues to be "to prevent the spread of the virus, to safeguard the capacity of the healthcare system and to protect people, especially those who are most at risk."

"The efforts to curb the progress of the epidemic in Finland have been successful so far. Consequently, the Government considers that Finland can transfer gradually and in a controlled way from a situation in which in which there are extensive restrictive measures in society to one in which management of the epidemic is at an enhanced level, in line with the Communicable Diseases Act. However, the restrictive measures cannot all be lifted at once, because the situation is still serious," the Government said..

Alongside the controlled dismantling of restrictive measures, Finland’s composite strategy focuses on testing, tracing, isolating and treating the ill.

Events with more than 500 people banned until August