The Finnish government will sit down this evening at the House of the Estates in Helsinki. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT is unlikely to augment its toolkit for combating the coronavirus epidemic with new measures for the eventuality that the epidemiological situation takes a turn for the worse in May or June, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The government said after its proposal for movement restrictions was shot down it will weigh up the need for alternative measures if the epidemiological situation worsens significantly.

Helsingin Sanomat wrote this morning, however, that two sources familiar with the issue do not believe the possible measures will be proposed during the current parliamentary term.

The government has, for example, explored the possibility of issuing a face mask mandate and temporarily amending the legislation to enable authorities to limit parties in private residences and other private spaces. No decisions on the nature of the possible restrictions have yet been made, according to the newspaper.

The government will convene this evening to discuss the possibility of extending the laws adopted on a temporary basis to manage the epidemic. Officials have encouraged the government to extend the amendments introduced to the communicable diseases act as a precautionary measure, in anticipation of the situation worsening in the autumn.

The laws are set to expire at the end of June or July.

The piece of legislation enabling regional authorities to shut down hobby and other leisure facilities and limit the capacity of buses and trains is set to expire in June. The legislation enabling municipalities to order different levels of education to switch to remote instruction, in turn, is to expire in July.

Alternatives to the mask mandate or movement restrictions are not on the agenda, however.

The government will today also lend an ear to experts regarding the need to make adjustments to the age limits of different coronavirus vaccines and, possibly, revisit the vaccination order, the newspaper reported.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT