Coronavirus restrictions eased today
Restrictions put in place over the last several months to slow the spread of coronavirus in Finland are being eased today. One of the main things is that restaurants, cafes and bars are allowed to open for business – although there will be restrictions like a 23:00 closing time and no buffet service allowed. Sports competitions and outdoor hobby activities are again allowed, as are gatherings up to 50 people. Cultural activities at museums, art galleries and libraries are back as well. However the government is stressing good hand hygiene and that everybody keeps a distance of two meters from other people. Read more at our story here.
Isis-linked families fly back to political scrutiny
Three Isis-linked families, 12 women and children, have flown back to Finland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced their arrival on Sunday, saying the women had left al-Hol refugee camp and made their way to the Finnish Embassy in Ankara where they were issued with new travel documents and paid for their own flights back to Helsinki, via Minsk. Turkish authorities assisted with the repatriation. There has been a strong political backlash from opposition parties who continue to say the government acted to carry out a secret option, with some MPs saying the state paid for their travel and criticising the government’s actions to bring “terrorists” back to Finland. Senior figures in government however say that as Finnish nationals they have a constitutional right to come to Finland, and they were treated like every other Finn who needs consular assistance abroad. Read more at our story here.
Finns allowed to travel to Estonia
The Estonian Government says that all Finns are welcome to visit from today, with no restrictions on quarantine or who can make the journey. However the Finnish Government still advises against leisure travel abroad, and says journeys should only be made for essential reasons only, like going to work. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said on Sunday that he would be pressing his ministerial colleagues to make a decision this week about giving the green light to Finns who want to travel abroad as more European countries open up for summer tourism and are willing to accept Finnish holidaymakers.
New road signs come into force today
A new road traffic law comes into force today which brings some changes for drivers and cyclists. There are 50 new traffic signs being introduced with many old signs getting a makeover. One of the new signs introduces a minimum speed limit in some areas. New laws include a flat-rate fine for minor driving violations, and from June cyclists must have a red tail light in addition to a headlight in poor visibility conditions.
Monday morning weather
It’s a warm and mostly sunny start to Monday for most of the country. By 09:00 this morning the temperature had already hit +18°C or +19°C in Hanko, Turku, Åland, Vaasa, Oulu and into areas of Central Finland as well. There’s some cloud cover over Uusimaa and stretching into central areas and the eastern border as well. Sunshine for Lapland with temperatures of +17°C in Kemi and +13°C in Kilpisjärvi to start the week.