Finland enters partial three-week shutdown

For now, only 10% of Finns have been vaccinated. [Shutterstock/Marina Vassileva]

Finland will go into a partial three-week shutdown from 8 March as the country’s coronavirus situation has been deteriorating since Christmas, the Finnish government has announced. According to Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo, this will be the “final spurt to accelerate toward brighter times.”

While attempts to prevent the spread of the UK COVID-strain, which accounts for about 30% of the new coronavirus cases, have failed, infection rates, especially emanating from construction sites, have been alarming. For now, only 10% of Finns have been vaccinated.

The partial shutdown will come into force in the seven areas currently in the “spreading” stage of the pandemic. Bars, pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs will close, while daycare and early education facilities will remain open. Though gatherings of more than six people will not be allowed, businesses suffering from the measures have been promised compensation.

While the government has been accused of confusing information – which has not been made easier given the current dogfight between the social affairs ministry and regional state administrative agencies dealing with the health situation – Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson told the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation in an interview on Saturday that plans for a curfew are ready. (Pekka Vänttinen |

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