The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has announced a significant cut in the number of places in reception centers for asylum seekers in the region of Helsinki.
The decision, which comes at a time when the arrival of people seeking international protection is at a low level, includes the closure of one reception center and the reduction of capacity in another.
The accommodation capacity for asylum seekers will decrease by 525 places in total in the capital region.
According to Migri, the reception center located in Nihtisilta, in the city of Espoo, will be closed down by 30 June 2021. This center has the capacity to host 450 people.
In addition, the reception center at Robert Huberin tie, in the city of Vantaa, will see its capacity reduced by 75 places. Its new capacity will be 375 people from 1 April 2021.
The Finnish Immigration Service said the aim is to adapt the reception center capacity to the existing demand for accommodation.
According to Migri's figures, the number of new asylum seekers hit a record low last year. The number of first asylum applications was around 1,150 between January and November 2020.
Around 6,500 asylum seekers are currently registered in the reception system, and around 3,300 of them live in different types of reception centres. The number of available places is currently around 1,500.