Here's our evening round-up of the latest coronavirus news from Finland – Tuesday

Latest virus numbers and deaths
The railway square in central Helsinki has slowly returned to life. A lonely activist seeks to gather signatures, while a line of taxes waits for customers on Tuesday, May 12th.

Latest virus numbers and deaths

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare says there have now been 6,003 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland, an increase of 19 from the day before.
There have also now been 275 coronavirus-related deaths either in hospital, or in nursing homes or other locations – an increase of 4 from the previous day.
While there are patients receiving treatment in five hospital districts, the majority are in Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District with 130 out of 152 cases. There are 34 patients in intensive care, a number that has steadily fallen over recent weeks.

Over-70s need more help with health & mental well being

Older people in Finland, faced with continued restrictions on social contact, need more instructions on how to safeguard their physical and mental health in the coming months.
That’s the message from former minister and diplomat Ole Norrback, Chairman of the Swedish Pensioners’ Association SPF.
“The decision-makers have decided to protect the older people and we have reason to be thankful for that. On the other hand the isolation cannot last too long because people are not ready to be isolated for an endless period.”
While the government has announced a ‘hybrid timetable’ for easing other coronavirus-related restrictions around schooling, sports and hobby activities, restaurants and bars, the advice for anyone over 70 is to remain physically distant from other people.
“I’m afraid. The hardest part is psychological I think. I feel imprisoned to some extent. I don’t have my own freedom to do anything plus a certain amount of fear for the virus itself” says Ninni Langenskjöld, who lives in an old folk’s home in Espoo.
Advocacy groups say there must be more concrete advice given to older people on how to behave, and how to protect their physical and mental health during a prolonged period where they’re expected to maintain some level of isolation.

Education Minister sets out new back to school rules

Education Minister Li Andersson (Left) says the government is preparing an amendment to the Basic Education Act which would make it easier to switch between distance education and normal classroom contact teaching in the autumn, if it was required by the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools and local municipalities will make their own decisions about how to follow the new instructions, but in general they include increased hand hygiene; keeping teaching groups as separate as possible; not holding any joined events between classes; looking at measures for distancing in teaching spaces; staggering school transport, meals and break times to try and maintain space between pupils.
Health officials say there have been only 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in children under 16, but that the virus appears to infect children much less than flu and the role of children in spreading the virus is smaller than adults.

Helsinki's Senate Square is still an empty sight without the tourists that used to take selfies with Russia's Alexander II's statue before the corona pandemic. There was hardly anyone on the square on a cold Monday evening. Kuva: Matti Posio
Helsinki’s Senate Square is still an empty sight without the tourists that used to take selfies with Russia’s Alexander II’s statue before the corona pandemic. There was hardly anyone on the square on a cold Monday evening. Kuva: Matti Posio

Finnair & Finnavia expand face mask requirements for staff & passengers

Finnish airports operator Finavia is changing the rules for using face masks at its properties, as the national airline Finnair says passengers and staff must now wear face masks on flights.
At airports, all employees who deal with customers will be required to wear face masks, and Finavia says it “strongly recommends” that passengers also wear masks.
Meanwhile on Finnair flights passengers and crew will be required to wear masks throughout the journeys, except for times when they’re eating or drinking. Finnair says it will have a limited amount of masks to give out to passengers, but that people should bring their own masks, and they might be refused entry to the aircraft if they don’t have one.

Interior Minister warns over “unnecessary” border crossings

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) has warned people against making “unnecessary” border crossings because the coronavirus epidemic is still ongoing.
The minister made the comments during a visit to Tornio to meet Border Guard officers in Tornio, and see first hand the situation on the northern border with Sweden where the number of crossings to and from Haparanda has surged in the last week – before restrictions have officially eased.
“Unnecessary border crossings should still be avoided, as the coronavirus pandemic is not over in Finland or in neighbouring countries. The situation is still serious” says Ohisalo.
The Länsi-Pohja region has by far the highest incidence of coronavirus per capita outside of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Health District. Closing the northern border with Sweden, where there have been more than 3,200 coronavirus deaths so far, is credited with keeping that number lower than it might otherwise have been.

Alko sales jump 23% during April lockdown restrictions

Finland’s state alcohol monopoly Alko sold 23% more booze in April this year compared to the year before.
The increase coincides with the most stringent lockdown measures during the coronavirus crisis when bars, cafes, restaurants and other licensed premises were closed. Those businesses will stay closed until 31st May.
Alko saw around 5% more shoppers visiting their physical stores in April, while 15,000 e-commerce online sales were made – an increase of 110% year-on-year. Those orders are available to collect at stores or pick-up points.
The biggest increase in sales during April was rosé wines which went up by 40%. Red wine sales increased 35% and white wine rose by 28%. Sparkling wine sales dipped by 2% year-on-year, perhaps as a results of public Vappu celebrations being canceled.
The full stories and more can be read here: www.newsnowfinland.fi

Kuva: NewsNowFinland

Daily news about the coronavirus crisis – koronauutiset englanniksi

Luotettavan tiedon tarve on kasvanut koronakriisin jatkuessa. Kaikkia maakuntamme asukkaita ei suomen- tai ruotsinkielinen media tavoita. Siksi julkaisemme koronakriisin aikana joka ilta englanninkielisen uutiskoosteen päivän tapahtumista. Uusi kooste ilmestyy luettavaksi maanantaista perjantaihin kello 19.30.

Englanninkielinen kooste koronauutisista kertoo nimenomaan päivän tiedoista ja tapahtumista Suomessa. Aineiston tuottaa Lännen Median lehtien käyttöön englanninkielinen uutispalvelu News Now Finland.

As the coronavirus crisis continues our readers have an increased need for reliable information. Not all residents of our region are reached by Finnish or Swedish-language media. That’s why we’ve started to publish an English-language news summary of the day’s coronavirus news. The new round-up will be available online Monday through Friday at 7:30pm.

The English-language compilation of coronavirus news has the latest information related to Finland. The material is produced for Lännen Media publications by the English-language news service News Now Finland.