Helsinki Senate Square stands empty on Wednesday afternoon (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

THE STREETS, SHOPS, AND LIBRARIES OF HELSINKI stood largely empty today as a result of strict social distancing measures put in place by the Finnish government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which includes a ban on any gathering of more than 10 people. 

The scenes on the streets of the capital today were unlike any seen in recent memory, with this being the first time such measures have been taken outside of wartime. Libraries, museums, cinemas, cultural institutions, and most gyms, as well as schools, have shuttered their doors for at least the next few weeks. 

Citizens have been asked to avoid "unnecessary mixing" and most forms of socialization, in order to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. In addition, employers have been asked to make arrangements for workers to work remotely wherever possible, whilst public transport services have been reduced. Scores of bars, restaurants, and cafes in the capital have decided to close as a result. 

The result is silence on the streets of Helsinki. 

You can see more photos of the empty capital by scrolling through the gallery. 



Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva