Thursday's papers: Restaurant restrictions, Niinistö comments and why has Covid spread at hockey games?

Three ice hockey teams are currently in quarantine after Covid outbreaks.

One Covid infection chain was linked to the Jukurit hockey team in Mikkeli. Image: AOP

Bars in Finland might face new restrictions as early as next week, reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) Ilta-Sanomat, as Finland grapples with ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Finland's Institute for Health and Welfare THL is due to report on Thursday, and what it says will influence government decisions in the coming weeks.

One government source tells the paper that if THL says a lot of the new infections have come from bars, then the government may well have to act.

Bars and restaurants have been free to open as they please since July.

IS also has a story looking at how face coverings are used in schools (siirryt toiseen palveluun) around Europe, as a THL decision on mask recommendations is due.

Covid's hockey haven

Helsingin Sanomat has a couple of stories about ice hockey teams and coronavirus infection chains.

One looks at how infections spread from Mikkeli's Jukurit under-20 side to other teams in Hämeenlinna and Kouvola, and how one nurse's decision to rapidly test the first players to report symptoms was crucial in stopping onward spread.

The other asks why Covid has particularly spread among hockey players. Is it the cold air or the airflow at rinks, or maybe something about the way players breathe?

There are no answers as yet, but experts tell HS that with the professional men's league about to start, officials should ensure regular testing of their players to nip any outbreaks in the bud.

Niinistö speaks out

Most of the papers cover President Sauli Niinistö's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he raised the importance of multilateral action on a number of fronts.

Iltalehti also reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Niinistö's comments to Finnish reporters after the speech, in which the president focused on bullying and violence in schools.

The issue has been in the spotlight recently after a violent attack at a school in Vantaa.

"As old-fashioned as it sounds, I think children should be asked at home why they want to hurt others," said Niinistö. "That's a question that can be a little bit difficult to answer."