Morning headlines: Monday 27th July 2020

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

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More travel restrictions lifted, but journeys come with warnings

From Monday there’s an expanded list of international destinations from where travellers won’t have to go to self-isolation when they arrive in Finland. Countries on the new list include some European destinations like Italy, Cyprus, Ireland, San Marino, Slovakia and Andorra; as well as long-haul destinations like New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. However a handful of countries which had previously been on the no-quarantine list have now been added again after spikes in coronavirus infection rates, including: Australia, Switzerland, Slovenia and Austria. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautions that entry requirements for countries can change rapidly if the epidemic situation there changes and tourists should make sure to always check local conditions before they travel. Border controls remain in place for Sweden, France, Spain and Russia.

Police focus drink-drive patrols on summer cottage areas

Police forces across the country will be stepping up their drink-drive monitoring patrols throughout this week, with a special focus on summer cottage townships. According to the police board a similar surveillance operation last year saw officers perform more than 44,000 breath tests and catch 115 drunk drivers. Police say the number of people who drink then drive, and the speed of drivers, traditionally increases during the summer months. In 2019 more than a third of all fatal accidents happened in June, July and August.

Report: No action over MP’s “pathetic assholes” comment

The Finns Party says it doesn’t plan to take any action over one of its Members of Parliament Mauri Peltokangas, after he wrote on Facebook that Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and her ministers were “pathetic assholes.” In comments to STT Finnish News Agency, the Chairman of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group Ville Tavio says that he doesn’t think the threshold for any discussion of sanctions against Peltokangas has been exceeded. Peltokangas later removed the comments from Facebook, which was related to an attack on a Finns Party official in Central Finland which is being investigated by police as attempted murder. Peltokangas is apparently angry that government minister have not condemned the attack in sufficiently strident terms. The victim himself now suggests that far-right elements are to blame for the beating which left him with bad head injuries.

No luck in overnight search for missing person in Lapland river

Rescue crews in Lapland, including a helicopter from Norway, launched an overnight search and rescue operation for someone who fell into the Ivalojoki river in Inari. Emergency services received a call around 02:30 in the early hours of Monday morning and nine units were sent to the place they were last seen, as well as the Norwegian helicopter – although it took the rescue crews around 90 minutes to drive from the nearest fire station to the location on the river. Despite the searches the person hasn’t yet been found. The incident has now been transferred from the rescue services to police.

Nightless nights end in Utsjoki

The nightless nights of northern Lapland – the period during summer when there’s no sunset, and the sun hangs in the sky 24 hours per day – has come to an end. The nightless nights started this year in the middle of May and lasted 72 days. Today the sun rose at 01:45 and will set at 00:34 on Tuesday morning and the days keep getting shorter quite rapidly – a week from now there will be more than two hours less daylight than there currently is in Utsjoki. The autumn equinox, when the number of day and night hours are the same, happens on 21st September – and the winter solstice, with the shortest amount of time between sunrise and sunset – happens on 21st December.

Monday morning weather

It’s a bright, clear, sunny and warm start to the week with temperatures on Monday morning already reaching the high teens in many parts of the country. However, some rain will move into western areas as the day goes on.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 27th July 2020 / Credit: FMI