Finland declares state of emergency to enact tough Covid restrictions

Finland declares state of emergency to enact tough Covid restrictions

Finland declares state of emergency as it prepares to bring in tougher Covid restrictions

  • Prime Minister Sanna Marin declared the state of emergency on Monday
  • The move allows  the government to put forward legislation on new coronavirus restrictions such as limiting restaurants to takeaway
  • Controls on gyms will also be tightened and gatherings restricted to six people 
  • Finland has maintained one of the lowest infection rates in Europe but cases have risen sharply over February 

Finland has declared a state of emergency, activating powers which allow it to introduce tougher restrictions to stem the rising tide of coronavirus infections.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin signalled the move was imminent last week when she warned that controls limiting restaurants to takeaway service would come into force for three weeks from March 8 in some parts of the country. 

‘The government, along with the President of the Republic, has declared a state of emergency in the country,’ Marin told a press conference on Monday.

Finland’s constitution requires emergency legislation to enforce such a restriction, and the restaurant proposal will now go before parliament, Marin said.  

Finland has declared a state of emergency, activating powers which allow it to introduce tougher restrictions to stem the rising tide of coronavirus infections. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (pictured) signalled the move was imminent last week when she warned that controls limiting restaurants to takeaway service would come into force for three weeks from March 8 in some parts of the country [File photo]

The government also announced on February 24 that it had instructed local authorities in areas with high infection rates, including in the capital Helsinki, to restrict public and private gatherings to six people.

Controls on establishments such as gyms will also be tightened, while municipal buildings including swimming pools and museums have been closed in some parts of the country since November.

Although the state of emergency will allow limits to be placed on freedom of movement, Marin said the government is not currently planning to reintroduce restrictions such as a blockade between the capital region and the rest of the country, which was imposed in March last year.

A total of 620 new cases were reported on Sunday, adding to Finland’s country’s 58,064 confirmed cases

At least 742 people in Finland have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began last year

However, she told reporters that such restrictions could be brought in if they are deemed ‘necessary and proportionate’.

Finland has maintained one of the lowest incidences of the virus in Europe but infections have risen sharply during February.

A total of 620 new cases were reported on Sunday, adding to the country’s 58,064 confirmed cases. At least 742 people in Finland have died from the virus since the pandemic began last year.

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