A new report by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has revealed Finland witnessed a significant rise in domestic violence cases in 2019. 

While police have reported increasing incidences of violence against intimate partners and family members since the coronavirus pandemic began, the new data suggests the situation had already been escalating.  

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An 81-one-year-old pensioner using a laptop in Helsinki on 4 February 2016. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

PENSIONERS are better off than wage earners in Finland, states Sanna Kurronen, an economist at the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA).

Kurronen on Tuesday highlighted in her blog that average pensions have increased noticeably faster than average earnings in the past 15 years. The share of low-income people, additionally, is lower among under 75-year-old pensioners than other population groups.

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Prosecutors Satu Pomoell and Yrjö Reenilä at the District Court of Helsinki on Wednesday, 3 March 2021. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE DISTRICT COURT of Helsinki on Wednesday heard the closing arguments of the defence and prosecution in the homicide of a 16-year-old boy in Koskela, a northern neighbourhood of the Finnish capital, in December 2020.

The prosecution demanded that each of three teenage defendants be found guilty of murder and sentenced to prison sentences ranging from nine years and six months to at least 12 years.

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A restaurant in Ruoholahti closed due to coronavirus pandemic.

EU/EEA or Swiss nationals who are working in Finland may be eligible for the infectious disease allowance even if they do not have coverage under the Finnish National Health Insurance scheme The infectious disease allowance is available to persons who have been ordered to go into formal quarantine or isolation and cannot work.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke in the session hall of the Parliament House in Helsinki on Thursday, 4 March 2021. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) stated to YLE on Thursday that the government may soon have no choice but to seriously discuss instituting a curfew in Finland.

“The likelihood that we’ll have to adopt measures as heavy as that has increased. I believe the government may be faced with this situation fairly quickly and discuss this very seriously,” she commented on YLE A-studio.

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Corona-positive samples at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, which researches new strains/Lehtikuva

A new cluster of COVID-19 cases has been traced to passengers on an inter-city bus that travelled from Helsinki to Savonlinna. The Savonlinna Central Hospital has confirmed that the infections were caused by the South African strain of the virus.

As of Wednesday morning, 64 people were confirmed to be infected with the new variant, which is thought to be more contagious than the original virus. The bus was carrying about a dozen passengers when it made the journey on 26 January.  

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The TE office provides employment services/Lehtikuva

New data from Statistics Finland suggests a steep rise in the country’s unemployment rate over the past year. According to the data agency’s Labour Force Survey, there were 235,000 people without jobs as of January 2021. 

The country’s employment rate stood at 69.9 per cent this year, compared to 71.9 per cent in 2020. There were 41,000 more unemployed people in January 2021 than in the same period last year.  

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Pupils in the last three years of basic education will be taught remotely in large parts of Southern Finland between 8 and 28 March, under a decision by the Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI) for Southern Finland. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE REGIONAL STATE Administrative Agency (AVI) for Southern Finland has expanded its restrictions to cover large parts of its administrative region, reports YLE.

AVI for Southern Finland on Thursday declared that its decision to shutter facilities such as gyms, sports facilities, amusement parks and indoor playgrounds, be it publicly or privately operated, across the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).

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The Finnish government is preparing a new, roughly 50-million-euro scheme to compensate restaurants for the ill effects of the coronavirus epidemic. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of restaurant bankruptcies rose sharply at the end of February in Finland, reports Asiakastieto.

The Finnish provider of business and consumer information reported yesterday that 14 restaurants were declared bankrupt between 22 and 28 February. Although the number is high in comparison to previous weeks, the number of bankruptcies in the first eight weeks of the year remains markedly lower than last year.

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Sniffer dog Kössi at a sample collection point at Helsinki Airport on 22 September 2020. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

FINNISH CUSTOMS will not be utilising dogs in its effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, despite training the dogs and making other preparations for months, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The reason for this, the newspaper wrote, is that a clause on the use of dogs in such applications was left out of the newly amended act on communicable diseases at the last minute.

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Following a lengthy debate and vote, Helsinki’s social services and healthcare division has decided that emergency housing should be made available for people that need it throughout the year, regardless of their nationality.  

At a meeting on Tuesday, politicians discussed an initiative put forth by Katju Aro, co-founder and chairperson of Finland’s Feminist Party, and nineteen others.  

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Instructor Minna Liivalahti led a group exercise at Fit Tammisto Kuntokeskus in Vantaa on Tuesday, 2 March 2021. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE MINISTRY of Social Affairs and Health and the Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI) for Southern Finland have wrangled the past couple of days over whether privately operated gyms and other indoor leisure facilities can remain open by limiting the number of users to 10.

AVI for Southern Finland on Tuesday announced its interpretation of the communicable diseases act is right, saying such facilities can stay open as long as they take in no more than 10 people at once.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) was photographed at a press conference at the Government Palace in Helsinki on Monday, 1 March 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT has called a timeout on its plan to invoke the emergency powers act.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) tweeted yesterday evening that sections 106 and 107 of the act will not be adopted to any extent until the preconditions for the adoption have been clarified and the issue has been subjected to another legal examination.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen talked to the media about the state of emergency and temporary shutdowns of restaurants at the Government Palace in Helsinki on Monday, 1 March 2021. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Committee of the Parliament on Wednesday approved a proposal to amend the legislation on restaurant and accommodation services in a way that enables the government to shutter restaurants to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus in Finland.

The committee also reproached the government for declaring a state of emergency to amend the law, pointing out that it was unnecessary to apply section 23 of the constitution per the proposal.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) on Tuesday reiterated the government’s intent to invoke sections of the emergency powers act following the declaration of a state of emergency in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has stated that the government intends to invoke several provisions in the emergency powers act.

“We’re now preparing the decrees we have to submit to the Parliament,” she revealed on YLE’s A-studio on Tuesday. “And we’ll be using several clauses of the emergency powers act because we think it’s warranted and necessary.”

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HUS has highlighted the dangers of the new COVID- 19 variant/Lehtikuva

Young people could be more vulnerable to a new mutation of the COVID-19 virus, according to the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS).

Asko Järvinen, head of infectious diseases at HUS, told Ilta Sanomat that Finland has seen a surge in cases of the highly contagious new variant, which was first detected in the UK. 

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