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Finnish PM holds press conference for children

PM Sanna Marin responded to children's concerns in Finland's first-ever government press conference for kids.

In Friday's coronavirus press conference for kids, Education Minister Li Andersson stressed that the most important thing children could do was their schoolwork. Image: Suvi Turunen / Yle

Three government ministers answered questions posed by children about the coronavirus and its effects in a live streamed press conference on Friday.

The event was organised by the Apu Juniori magazine, Yle, and Helsingin Sanomat's children's news unit.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Minister of Education Li Andersson, and Minister of Science and Culture Hanna Kosonen were virtually on-hand to answer coronavirus related questions from school-aged children.

Proceedings started with an overview about the current situation, in which the politicians emphasised that thorough hand washing and social distancing continue to be important.

The questions were posed by children aged between seven and 12 via video link. Emma asked the burning question of the week, “When can we go back to school?”

Minister of Education Li Andersson replied: “We’re listening to the experts to see when it’s possible, whether it’s later this spring or more likely in the fall.”

Iiris then asked “Is the situation in Finland good?” Prime Minister Sanna Marin reassured her that “if we compare our situation to other countries, it's good."

"We are following how the situation is developing because we want to protect everyone,” said Marin.

All three ministers repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping up social distancing measures, washing hands very thoroughly after coming indoors, and checking in with people such as grandparents by phone or text.

Other questions included, What can be done for Finland? which was posed by Aaron.

“In addition to following the coronavirus guidelines, the most important thing that school aged kids can do is their school work,” replied Andersson.