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PM Marin urges quicker reopening

Some regions are already relaxing restrictions, with the Covid-19 situation reportedly stable in several parts of the country.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group is recommending a gradual easing of restrictions on low-risk premises. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has urged the government to speed up the process of reintroducing low-risk sports and cultural events with the use of a Covid pass.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the minister said the government plans to assess the need for current and future coronavirus measures.

"The government will assess the necessity of restrictions in terms of how the epidemic is progressing. It should consider opening low-risk cultural and sports events with a Covid pass and extending the opening hours of restaurants on a quicker schedule than was previously estimated," Marin stated in the tweet.

The government has already said it will lift restrictions on indoor recreational activities for children and young adults and rescind recommendations for distance learning for higher education institutes from February onwards.

HUS physician: Helsinki metropolitan area probably at Covid peak already

Asko Järvinen, Chief Physician and Head of Infectious Diseases at the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) has estimated that the epidemic has peaked in the Helsinki metropolitan area already.

"The number of patients has been fairly stable for a couple of weeks now. This means that the epidemic has probably already reached the peak, although there are still a lot of patients," he said.

According to Järvinen, Omicron infections have not yet hit their peak in other parts of Finland.

"According to some international estimates, the strongest peak of the Omicron wave is around 3–5 weeks. In that case, the disease could already witness a decline in Uusimaa during February. It could take longer in other parts of the country, depending on when the epidemic properly hits there," he explained.

Multiple regional state administrative agencies have already begun easing restrictions as several areas have reportedly shown signs of an improvement in their Covid-19 situation.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group announced on Tuesday that it is recommending that the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland (Avi) allow low-risk premises to be reopened on 1 February 2022.

The lifting of restrictions would apply to indoor spaces such as gyms, swimming pools and public lounges in shopping centres.

According to the group, while coronavirus infections continue to place a heavy burden on healthcare, the burden has not worsened and has already begun to ease.