Coronavirus latest: Monday 16th March 2020

Here's our daily round-up of all the latest Covid-19 coronavirus news from Finland.

File picture of woman wearing anti-pollution / anti-germ face mask / Credit: iStock

Here’s the latest news you need to know about coronavirus in Finland:

  • Newspaper reports government will order all schools closed
  • Tallink suspends Silja Europa services Helsink/Tallinn
  • Finnair cuts 90% of its flight capacity
  • Police warn about coronavirus scammers
  • Danske Bank offering help for small business & private customers
  • Finland’s Euro football hopes could be dashed by virus

Newspaper reports government will order all schools closed

Hämeen Sanomat newspaper reports that the government will order all schools to close down, in an effort to slow down the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

Although no official announcement has been made yet, Hämeen Sanomat says it has “multiple sources” confirming the news which could be given at a scheduled government press conference at 16:00 on Monday afternoon.

Follow the government’s 16:00 press conference for the latest information at this link.

Tallink suspends Silja Europa service 

Tallink says it’s suspending the Silja Europa service from Helsinki to Tallinn from Tuesday. It’s the result of new border control measures from the Estonian Government which also come into effect on Tuesday.

The Europa will make its final trips on Monday 16th March according the vessel’s normal schedule, but only passengers with a one way ticket will be allowed to travel on the 18:30 departure from Helsinki to Tallinn.

From 17th March Silja Europa will remain in the Port of Tallinn until further notice.

Finnair cuts 90% of its flight capacity.

Finnair says the coronavirus epidemic has meant a 90% reduction in its flight capacity.

The national carrier says that Covid-19 has had “a severe impact on demand for air travel” and that it has made “substantial adjustments” to its traffic.

Between 16th March and 31st March Finnair canceling up to 2000 flights.

“Coronavirus is the biggest crisis in the history of aviation, truly a survival of the fittest” says Finnair CEO Topi Manner.

With the dedication of our staff, loyalty of our customers, strong cash reserves, healthy balance sheet and support of our owners, we Finnair will come out strong from this” he adds. 

Police warn about coronavirus scammers

Police in Western Uusimaa are investigating a coronavirus-related scam. On Sunday two men knocked on the door of one local home around 19:00 and said they were coronavirus researchers and needed to do an examination of the property.

One of them men talked to the householder in the kitchen, while the other was walking around the home. Another man also entered the home at this point.

At the end of the fake inspection the resident was asked to pay €10 for the service on their debit card but after the men left, the resident noticed that €2000 cash, numerous valuables and alcohol had been stolen.

Police are now looking for one man in his 60s, and two men around 30-years old in connection with the robbery.

Danske Bank offers options for business & personal customers 

Danske Bank has become the latest bank to try and help out customers during the coronavirus outbreak. The bank has announced that customers with loans could obtain overdrafts, pay in installments or extend the term of the loan.

Customers with mortgages could also find some relief with range of options being offered by the bank, and small businesses could defer payments or get an overdraft increase.

“We are in an extraordinary situation that has major financial implications for society, businesses and families alike” says CEO Chris Vogelzang.

“We have a significant responsibility for helping to minimise the damage caused by COVID-19, and we will go a long way to help our customers through this challenging situation” he adds.

Finnish football hopes could be dashed by virus

The hopes of Finnish football players and fans could be dashed by the coronavirus epidemic – at least for the time being.

The men’s national team Huuhkajat has qualified for this summer’s European Championships, the first time they’ve ever made it through to the final of a major international tournament.

But on Tuesday UEFA is holding an extraordinary meeting about the tournament, with the Italian Football Association pushing for the tournament to be postponed by a year so they can see out the end of the coronavirus epidemic and then play the last games in their own Italian domestic league.