Morning headlines: Friday 23rd October 2020

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00.

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Extra budget money for coronavirus expenditure

Government ministers will meet in Helsinki this afternoon to negotiate the seventh supplementary budget. Helsingin Sanomat reports that as much as two billion euros could be proposed including more support for businesses, the arts and culture, and coronavirus testing. There is at least a proposal on the table to give €400 million to municipalities to cover costs caused by coronavirus, including to buy face masks for low income residents, and money for hospital districts as well. The government will likely take on more debt to fund the budget increase. This comes on top of an extra €100 million announced on Thursday for the regions which is targeted on support for sustainable growth. The regional coronavirus recovery plans could go towards job creation, preventing youth unemployment and developing skills.

New restrictions on gatherings in Southern Finland

There’s new restrictions on the number of people allowed at public events coming into force from 1st November, to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland says in Uusimaa and Kanta-Häme public events will be restricted to just 20 people. While in South Karelia, Kymenlaakso and Päijät-Häme the crowd sizes will be limited to 50 people. In addition, people attending any events must observe social distancing and follow THL guidelines on good hygiene practices to prevent Covid-19 infections. The pandemic is in the ‘accelerating’ phase in Uusimaa and Kanta-Häme which is why restrictions there are tighter than other southern areas.

Childless Finns increasing in urban areas

The latest look at the demographics of Finland show that an increasing number of men living in urban areas, and women in rural areas, don’t have any children. New figures from Statistics Finland, released on Friday morning, cover most of the last two decades from 2000 to 2019 and found that it’s becoming increasingly common for Finns to not have children. Nearly 1-in-3 men aged 40-44 living in urban areas now don’t have children, while the number of men in rural areas who don’t have children has stayed mostly the same since the turn of the millennium.

Friday morning weather

It’s a very unsettled weather picture for Friday morning with snow across Lapland, rain or sleet in central, eastern and southeastern areas – and the best of the dry weather this morning down the west coast, and into the southwest and Uusimaa. Temperatures on Friday morning range from -4°C in eastern Lapland to +11°C in Hanko.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 23rd October 2020 / Credit: FMI