Morning headlines: Thursday 27th February 2020

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

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Government updates on latest coronavirus preparations

The government will brief political parties and the media today on their latest preparations to mitigate the effects of any large scale Covid-19 outbreak in Finland. It comes a day after a special task force was set up, lead by the Ministry of Health, to coordinate efforts between agencies. It also comes after the first Finnish person was confirmed diagnosed with Covid-19. The woman apparently became infected while visiting Milan in Italy, and sought medical help after her return to Finland. Authorities have been in touch with the two people she had contact with as well. Read more at our story here.

New initiative extends compulsory education

A new initiative by the government aims to keep more young people in school and working towards a qualification by increasing the age of compulsory education to 18. The proposal would also fund study materials for all students in high school or vocational school until their graduation, and will cost in excess of €100 million. “We need to do it because the knowledge demands are growing in the Finnish labour markets, and we are already seeing it now when we look at the employment rate of people who don’t have a degree [diploma] from upper secondary school” or vocational school explains Li Andersson (Left), Finland’s Minister for Education. For several decades the number of young people who come to the end of compulsory classes but don’t get any sort of secondary education diploma has hovered between 10% and 15%. And only around 40% of those people without a diploma get jobs. The initiative is supported by Finland’s leading education union. Read more at our original story here.

Football league for women renamed to remove gender prefix

The women’s football league, known as Naisten liiga in Finnish, has been renamed, to remove the gender prefix. From now on it will be known as the National League. “There is a well-established voice in the sports world where there is sport and then there is women’s sport – football and women’s football” explains Heidi Pihjala, Development Manager for the Finnish Football Association. “This is also reflected in the appreciation of men’s and women’s sport. The new name and identity is meant to drive cultural change in how we build a more equal sporting world and society” she says. The National League recently signed up Subway as their main sponsor, and the company is fully behind the re-branding.

Overtime ban walk-out still impacting Finnair flights 

A number of Finnair flights are departing later than scheduled on Thursday morning, after workers from ground handling company Swissport walked off the job on Wednesday as part of a union overtime ban. “Luggage handling is returning to normal. However, due to yesterday’s walk-out, the airport still has a large number of luggage” says Finnavia. Flight schedules are expected to return to normal by the afternoon.

Thursday morning weather

It’s another bright, sunny and chilly start to Thursday morning across the whole country. Temperatures range from -23°C in Enontekiö to -2°C in Åland at the start of the day. There’s sunshine virtually everywhere but some clouds will bring snow to eastern border areas and around Kemi as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 27th February 2020 / Credit: FMI