Morning headlines: Tuesday 19th May 2020

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


Restaurant talks and Parliament vote

Government ministers will meet this morning to discuss the final details of a financial aid package for restaurants, cafes and bars. The legislation had been drawn up by the government then went to parliament for discussion where some amendments were made. Today ministers will sign off on it then send it to MPs for a vote later this afternoon. Ministers are also set to discuss the conditions for restaurants to re-open on 1st June. It is expected that there will be a 23:00 closing time and limits on how many people can be inside, however it’s thought there won’t be a limit on terrace occupancy rates.

Last day for sale of menthol cigarettes

Today is the last day that menthol cigarettes are legally sold in Finland. Under the new Tobacco Act, cigarettes or tobacco with a specific odor or taste may not be sold to customers. In Finland all flavoured tobacco except menthol have already been banned since 2016, so the new provision coming into place from tomorrow will add menthol to the list that is already established. The sales ban is based on an EU directive.

Linnanmäki Amusement Park to open 12th June

Helsinki’s Linnanmäki Amusement Park is set to open for the summer season on Friday 12th June at 11:00. It’s one of the capital city’s most popular tourist attractions but this year will have to adapt some of its operations to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. There will be extra hand sanitizer stations available around the park, with signs reminding visitors and staff about good hand hygiene. Visitors who come to the park together will be allowed to sit next to each other on rides, and food services should operate as normal since most of the kiosks and restaurants serve customers who sit outside. However there might be some restrictions on the number of people who can gather together in certain areas of the park.

Finnair to expand international flights in July 

Finnair will increase its international flights in July, and will review the schedule on a monthly basis depending on how many tickets are sold. “Our goal is to fly just over 30% of our normal number of flights in July, and start long-haul flights to major destinations in Asia” says Ole Orvér, Finnair’s Commercial Director. The airline says people have been planning both business and leisure trips and they want to respond to this demand by growing their network which was cut 90% during the coronavirus crisis. The long-haul flights to Asia will start with Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in July, as well as Tokyo Narita, Osaka and Nagoya, Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok. The Asia destinations are driven by cargo demand. In Europe two dozen flights will begin in July, with others added in August. Flights to Delhi and New York will also begin in August with Tokyo Haneda coming on line in November.

Tuesday morning weather

Although it’s a sunny start to the day across most of the country, temperatures remain unseasonably cool for this time of year. Across Lapland there’s a mix of sunshine and cloud, but also the chance of snow flurries around Inari. Temperatures south of Lapland hover between +6°C and +8°C this morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 19th May 2020 / Credit: FMI