Morning headlines: Monday 3rd August 2020

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

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Covid-19 testing for airport passengers – if needed

Passengers at Helsinki Airport are being offered coronavirus tests and health counselling from Monday – if the think they need it. In practice, anyone who thinks they might have coronavirus symptoms can go to a special airport information checkpoint where they can get advice and a Covid-19 test. Tests are being coordinated through Vantaa Social and Health Service and HUS. Not all passengers will be tested, just those with symptoms that suggest possible coronavirus – and the new service is responsible for advising people what to do if they have a positive result. Anyone who gets a coronavirus test at the airport is being reminded not to use public transport but to use taxis which have been adapted to carry potentially infected passengers.

Another candidate expected for Centre Party leadership race

A second candidate is expected to emerge on Monday to challenge incumbent Katri Kulmuni as leader of the Centre Party. Central Finland MP Petri Honkanen, who is currently the party’s Vice Chairman, is set to hold a press conference at the party’s Helsinki office to address “current issues related to the Centre Party.” There had previously been media speculation that Honkanen might want to make a bid for the leadership role. On Friday the Minister of Science and Culture Anikka Saariko also announced her candidacy. The party leader will be decided at a conference in Oulu in early September.

15 people quarantined as Espoo kindergarten coronavirus precaution

Around 15 people have been told to self-isolate, including staff and children at a kindergarten, after one person tested positive for Covid-19. The infected person has been placed in isolation and others who were in close contact with them have also been advised to self-isolate as a precaution. Authorities aren’t releasing the name of the kindergarten for privacy reasons, but say it continues to operate normally as other employees and children were not considered at risk of infection. The kindergarten is following enhanced coronavirus precautions including making sure groups of children remain separated, and holding more activities outdoors.

PM thanks well-wishers after weekend wedding 

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has thanked everyone who sent their congratulations on her weekend wedding, and particularly the team of “wonderful women” who designed her wedding dress, arranged the flowers and took the photographs at the small ceremony. Marin married her long-term partner Markus Räikkönen on Saturday at her official Kesäranta residence in Helsinki with just close friends and family in attendance. “We have seen and experienced a lot together, shared joys and sorrows, and supported each other in the calm and in storms” Marin wrote on Instagram next to a picture of her and her new husband. Read more at our story here.

Valtteri Bottas out of points after F1 tyre burst

Finnish Formula 1 racer Valtteri Bottas finished in 11th place at Sunday’s British Grand Prix after getting a deflated tyre close to the chequered flag. Bottas and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton had opted to switch their tyres from medium to hard earlier on in the race, and were both in contention to win, when Bottas’ tyre burst with just two laps to go and he had to get round almost a whole lap with three tyres – falling too far back to get any points from the race. Lewis Hamilton then looked like it would be an easy drive to win the race until he too suffered a puncture on the last lap, but was able to hold on to first place. “Unlucky puncture few laps before the end meant no points today. Very disappointing. Thanks again team for trying to make most out of it! Will fight back next week for sure” Bottas wrote on social media. Next weekend’s race is also in Britain, as the F1 season is shortened and adapted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday morning weather

It’s a mixed start to the week depending where in Finland you live. There’s rain across the capital city region on Monday morning, but other parts of the country are seeing some bright sunshine including across Lapland and down the eastern border. Temperatures range from +10°C in Inari, to +15°C in Oulu and Vaasa, +17°C for the southwest and +15°C in Joensuu. Rain and some thunder storms are moving north and east as the day goes on.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 3rd August 2020 / Credit: FMI