Lack of enforcement on self-isolation highlighted as serious coronavirus risk
Ministers are looking at ways to tighten up Finland’s self-isolation recommendations for passengers arriving from abroad, ahead of a possible second wave of coronavirus infections. The current rules mean that officials can only strongly recommend passengers go to self-isolation and there’s no system for checking that people actually do it – and no penalties if they don’t. It means there’s numerous stories of people arriving in Finland and deciding themselves they won’t self-isolate. New figures obtained from the Finnish Border Guard by News Now Finland also show how tens of thousands of people were allowed into the country during April, May and June during the tightest lockdown months, with very few refused entry, despite there being supposedly strict criteria for who could get in, and why. Read more at our original story here.
Health officials morning briefing
Public health officials are giving their first live briefing after the summer holiday season this morning. Kirsi Varhila and Liisa Maria Voipio-Pulkki from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will be joined by Taneli Puumalainen the Chief Physician from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. They’re expected to give an update on the possible second wave of coronavirus infections in Finland – after spikes in a number of European countries – and possibly also announce some new measures to help slow the impact of a second wave of infections like making it mandatory to wear a face mask which covers the nose and mouth, in public places like shops, trains and buses. We’ll have an update on the announcement after it concludes.
Sitra report: Less than a third of Finns trust political parties
A new survey published on Thursday by Sitra finds that less than a third of Finns trust political parties, with 57% saying they thought political parties were far removed from citizens and their needs. More than half the people who responded to the survey considered political parties to be old-fashioned, while 67% thought they could do a better job to improve communications not just with their supporters, but also to strengthen dialogue with voters. The survey was carried out by Kantar TNS and 3,822 Finns aged 15-85 years old responded to the questionnaire during April and May.
Ministers swap duties with presidential ceremony
Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saariko (Centre) formally returns to work today after her maternity leave, replacing Hanna Kosonen (Centre) who has been filling in. There will be a formal ceremony where President Niinistö will presides over the change of ministers via video link from his official summer residence Kultaranta in Naantali. At that time Kosonen will resign, and Saarikko will be re-appointed to the role. Afterwards Saarikko – who is running to become the new leader of the Centre Party – will hold a short press conference in Helsinki.
Thursday morning weather
It’s an overcast start to Thursday morning for much of the country with the best of the sunshine found in parts of central Lapland. Temperatures are still mild however, ranging from +13°C in Inari to +16°C in Oulu, +17°C for Rauma, Pori, Turku, Åland and the southwest. +16°C too through eastern border areas. There’s a chance of localized showers as the day goes on and the top temperature will be around +20°C.