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Uusimaa closes borders after late-night vote in parliament

Restrictions on travel into and out of the southern region came into force at midnight.

Police are patrolling the borders of Finland's largest region, Uusimaa. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland has restricted movement in and out of Uusimaa after parliament and government agreed details of new rules brought in to try and slow the spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions came into force at midnight, and immediately police and army conscripts began patrolling roads crossing the frontiers of Finland’s largest region.

Parliament unanimously approved the measures unanimously at 22:39 on Friday, before the government agreed how they would be enforced and officially implemented them at 23:30, allowing them to become official on the stroke of midnight.

On Saturday hundreds of police fanned out across 30 crossing points and boarded early-morning trains that went in and out of the region.

Uusimaa has most of Finland’s 1025 confirmed coronavirus cases, and cutting down movement in and out of the region is expected to help slow down the epidemic in the rest of the country.

The restrictions are initially in force until 19 April. They stop people travelling without very good reason, which include work, returning to officially-registered residences, or caring for a vulnerable individual.