Morning headlines: Monday 6th April 2020

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

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Restaurant owners pivot & calls grows for more help for the hospitality industry

Finland’s restaurant and cafe owners are looking for new ways to do business now that they’re closed to customers to help slow the spread of coronavirus. By law, those premises are now closed until the end of May and it means some business owners are pivoting from dine-in to delivery instead, which is still allowed. One Bar & Restaurant in Porvoo, which previously had to lay-off nine staff when customers stopped showing up, has switched to delivering food boxes with several meals inside. “We’ve made a concept that’s low cost, and low waste. We know what we’re going to make the next day and we go to the wholesaler and get just what we need and no extra. It’s simple and effective in that sense” says owner Petter Larsen. There’s growing pressure too for a specific package of financial help for the hospitality with players like Wolt lobbying the government to do more as they see several hundred restaurants close from their own app in recent weeks. Read more at our original story here.

THL launches national coronvirus research project 

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL is launching a new national project to gather more data about people who have been confirmed with coronavirus to see if individual factors like lifestyle or hereditary health conditions play a part in how the virus progresses in different people, and what symptoms it causes. THL says there have been 1,927 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland, and 28 deaths so far. The average age of the patients who died is 81 although there have been two fatalities of people aged 40-59. Around the country more than 200 people are currently receiving hospital treatment for Covid-19 with 76 in intensive care. Over the weekend the first deaths in Finnish care homes were reported, with public healthcare and private facilities reporting that patients and staff have tested positive.

Stockmann files for corporate restructuring

The Stockmann Group has filed paperwork with Helsinki District Court on Monday morning for corporate restructuring. It comes after the company says the coronavirus has caused a “significant impact on the company’s customer volumes and cash flow.” In a statement, Stockmann says it discussed the difficulties with its main bankers and creditors. Stockmann is in the middle of a multi-million euro cost savings drive, and although online sales have improved in recent weeks as customers switch from going to the stores, to e-commerce, the company says “the online sales growth cannot compensate for the drastic decline in customer volumes in the current exceptional situation.”

Neighbour rescued from burning home 

The resident of an apartment building has saved their neighbour from an fire. The blaze broke out around 22:00 on Sunday night in Karkkila, and Western Uusimaa Rescue Department says one of the 20 apartments in the building was already engulfed when they got to the scene. A neighbour had managed to rescue the resident of the apartment by dragging him outside. The resident was taken to hospital for examination. Firefighters say the fire likely started from an electrical device. Two cats died in the fire and there was fire damage in the apartment itself, while adjacent flats suffered some smoke damage too.

National coronavirus journalism cooperation

News Now Finland has joined forces with a number of the country’s leading regional newspapers to share accurate journalism about coronavirus in English. The cooperation sees a daily round-up of national Covid-19 news shared with seven Lännen Media Finnish-language newspapers and two HSS Media Swedish-language newspapers. The round-ups are shared each evening from Monday to Friday on the newspapers’ websites. “Partnering with strong local newsrooms during these exceptional weeks and months gives us all the opportunity to reach more people” says News Now Finland Managing Editor David Mac Dougall. The coronavirus round-ups are published each evening on the newspapers’ websites. “In times of trouble, we’re publishing this daily round-up of Finnish coronavirus news in English as a public service for our regions’ people who do not read Finnish or Swedish” explains Lännen Media Editor-in-Chief Matti Posio.

Monday morning weather

The best of the sunshine – and the coldest temperatures – to start the week are found in Lapland where there’s clear skies but temps down to -18°C. Some rainfall and scattered snow showers in the south and west move eastwards as the morning goes on, replaced with a warm front, and temperatures likely to hit double digits during the afternoon.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 6th April 2020 / Credit: FMI