Thursday 28.05.2020
Coronavirus

Finnish government extends school closings until 13 May

The government also decided to further increase sampling and testing in Finland to identify cases of coronavirus and to curb the epidemic.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Photo: Laura Kotila/Vnk.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Photo: Laura Kotila/Vnk.

Finnish government decided on Monday to extend until 13 May the duration of the previously imposed restrictions to slow down the spread of coronavirus infections (koronavirus, in Finnish) and to protect those at risk. The new measures were announced in the evening at a press conference by the Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, together with the ministers of Finance, Education, Interior and Justice.

The government will issue new decrees on the use of powers under the Emergency Powers Act to Parliament on Tuesday. A decision on the extension must be made this week so that it can be processed in Parliament in time.

The restrictions on early childhood education, teaching and education and training will be extended by one month until 13 May at different levels of education. At the same time, preparations will be made for extending the exceptional arrangements in education until the end of term, if this is deemed necessary for containing the epidemic.

Tighter limits to traffic at national borders

Due to the epidemic of Covid-19, the government also decided to swiftly begin preparing tighter limits to traffic at the national borders in the north and west, and to terminate the carriage of passengers in sea transport, with the exception of goods and freight transport.

The government also decided to further increase sampling and testing in Finland to identify cases of coronavirus and to curb the epidemic. Healthcare and social welfare personnel must always be tested if there is even the slightest suspicion of illness.

On Tuesday, the government will submit a decree to Parliament on the closure of restaurants, cafés and premises where alcohol is served. The purpose of the closures is to protect the population and to safeguard the functioning of society. The restrictions on opening hours are effective until 31 May 2020, but takeaway food services are permitted.

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