HELSINKI TIGHTENS COVID RESTRICTIONS AMID FINNISH GOV’T CRITICISM
Authorities in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area have further tightened restrictions aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus in the region, but the measures have been criticized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) as not going far enough, the Finnish news service Yle reported.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Helsinki mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP) said that the coronavirus situation in the capital region is deteriorating at a rapid rate and regional authorities are preparing for the possibility of exceptional circumstances.
Finland reported 720 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest daily total ever recorded, with 467 infections diagnosed in the Helsinki University hospital district (HUS).
According to health agency THL, 2,172 coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in Helsinki over the last two weeks, as well as 892 in Vantaa and 526 in Espoo.
Vapaavuori said that Southern Finland’s Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) had decided on a number of measures aimed at tackling the spread, such as the closure of all city-run facilities. This includes indoor sports arenas, cultural centers and museums, youth facilities, public saunas and swimming pools, playgrounds and sports facilities such as gyms.