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Finland cancels summer: Holidaying amid coronavirus

Our All Points North podcast examines pandemic staycations and travel in the age of contagion.

unicorn summer
APN asks if the days of care-free travel are over.
Yle News

What kind of summer can residents in Finland look forward to? This week All Points North explores travel in a post-pandemic world.

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"It's predicted that inside the country Finns will get to travel, probably. But outside of Finland, I wouldn’t put my hopes up that there would be an awful lot of travelling abroad this summer. It might take as long as a year — or even two — before things get back to normal, or to the so-called new normal," Yle journalist Sara Rigatelli told APN.

She pointed out that Mika Aaltola of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) has claimed that the days of an 'open world' are behind us, as air travel has made states vulnerable to disease.

"Countries are very cautious because nobody wants coronavirus crossing their borders," she explained.

While some Nordic countries are relaxing restrictions on physical contact, Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who herself went into self-isolation on Thursday, announced Finland would continue to prohibit mass gatherings of 500 or more people. The move cancelled popular music festivals that have been a staple of Finnish summer.

APN also explored why some teachers don't want to return to school before next term and why lifestyle bloggers and TV personalities were awarded support packages from government funding agency Business Finland. This week we also learned that scientists in Finland will begin testing wastewater to find out how coronavirus is spreading in communities and that Helsinki saw an uptick in divorce petitions when Uusimaa was cordoned off from the rest of the country.

For a deep dive into pestilence, we also looked at some of the curious parallels between Finland's response to novel coronavirus and the bubonic plague, which decimated a significant proportion of the Finnish population centuries ago.

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This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Egan Richardson and produced by Priya Ramachandran D'souza. Our audio engineer this week was Anttoni Wikstörm.

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