Sign up for our newsletter ⟩
News |

Coronavirus latest: Central Bank predicts post-Covid economic growth, Finland to roll out EU Covid certs in 2 phases

This article brings you the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Finland.

Matkailija esittää digitaalisen koronapassin virkailijalle.
The EU's Covid pass, coming into use from July, will be a QR code on a smartphone or paper and provide border control information on a visitor's status drawn from records in their home EU country. Image: Ramon van Flymen / EPA

Check a range of regional, national and international Covid data at Yle's dashboard.

15.6 16:12 Economy set for post-Covid growth spurt, Central Bank says

As Covid vaccinations advance and epidemic-related restrictions are lifted, increased consumer spending will drive the nation's economy — at least for some time, according to the Bank of Finland.

The central bank issued its forecast for 2021-2023 on Tuesday, saying the economy would grow by 2.9 percent this year and by three full percentage points in 2022.

Read more on this story here.

15.6 15:51 THL: No regions currently in community transmission phase

Health agency THL announced on Tuesday afternoon that there are currently no regions in Finland considered to be in the community transmission phase of the pandemic, which is the highest rating level, after the provinces of Kanta-Häme and Päijät-Häme were downgraded to the accelerating phase.

There are nalso ow only four regions in the accelerating phase: Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Central Ostrobothnia and the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS). The rest of the country is considered to be in the baseline phase of the pandemic.

Finland's infection rate is also declining, and now stands at 23 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, down from 41 just two weeks ago.

15.6 11:44 Finland reports 73 new cases on Tuesday

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has reported 73 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing Finland's total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 93,923.

15.6 11:03 Finnkino bans snacks as Covid impacts bottom line

According to guidance from Finnkino, cinemagoers should "only enjoy products purchased from our stores or Oscar's bar" and urges them to "leave other meals outside the theatre."

Finnkino's Commercial Director Hannele Wolf-Mannila hinted that the move was an attempt to cover the drop in turnover caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

15.6 10:50 STT: Finland to begin using EU's Covid certs in July

Finland is planning to begin using the EU's Covid certification system in two phases during the month of July, according to news outlet STT.

The outlet reported that it had information indicating that the vaccination certificates would begin to come in use at the beginning of July.

Meanwhile individuals who have recovered from coronavirus infections or recently tested for the illness would have to wait for their EU certificates until mid-July, according to the outlet.

However, the ministry would not confirm those dates.

The ministry's health care guidance director, Minna Saario, said details regarding the schedule were still being adjusted.

The EU’s digital Covid pass will be a QR code on a smartphone or paper and provide border control information on a visitor's status drawn from records in their home EU country. The certificate would indicate if a person has received a vaccine, had a recent negative test or has immunity based on recovery.

According to Paula Tiittala, the ministry's chief physician, the staggered introduction of the certifications was largely due to vaccination data's availability in the patient database as the country rolled out national vaccination certificates in May.

Meanwhile, data regarding coronavirus tests is much less centralised, as many different health care providers offer testing services, making it a slower task to collect the data and enter it into the country's patient information database Kanta Services.

15.6 9:30 Football fans entering Russia subject to testing

As Finland's Huuhkajat (Eagle owls) prepare for their next Euro 2020 game against Russia, fans are bracing for the multistep process of crossing the border during a pandemic.

Getting into Russia to watch the game isn't a straightforward process. Visitors to the country must show proof of a negative Covid test and give three samples – one from each nostril and one from the throat – at the border.

Following testing, football fans have one more hoop to jump through: the so-called FAN-ID needed to enter both the Russian Federation and the stadium itself. Entry has already been denied to fans lacking the documentation.

Read more about this and more of Tuesday morning's stories in our newspaper review.

14.6 13:45 Broken fridge spoils Porvoo vaccines

Hundreds of residents in Porvoo who were due to receive Covid jabs on Monday morning were informed that their appointments had been cancelled.

The city explained that the appointments were called off because nearly 2,500 doses had been spoiled after the refrigeration unit they were being stored in broke down over the weekend.

The doses could no longer be used as the undiluted vaccines cannot be kept at room temperature for more than a couple of hours.

Read more here.

14.6 12:11 THL: 29 new cases on Monday

There were 29 new lab-confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed across Finland over the past day on Monday, according to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Altogether, Finland has recorded a total of 93,850 Covid cases since the beginning of the epidemic, the institute reported.

13.6 15:30 More than 50% have first dose

Some 51 percent of people in Finland had received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, according to public health institute THL. Around 13 percent are fully vaccinated.

13.6 13:15 Outdoor voting on election day

Polling stations across the country have made special outdoor voting arrangements to accommodate quarantined voters on Sunday, Finland’s official municipal election day.

Read more here.

13.6 12:55 Finland records new 47 cases

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported there were 47 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Finland over the past day on Sunday, bringing the country's overall case total to 93,821.

Fifty-six Covid patients are currently being treated in hospital, nine of them in intensive care.

12.6 14:10 Finland ramps up first doses in June

Public health institute THL says its goal is to administer more than half a million initial Covid vaccine doses during the month of June.

Finland is expecting a delivery spike during Midsummer week, 21-27 June, when 400,000 shots are expected to arrive in the country. This shipment represents a 25-percent jump over the regular weekly delivery rate of around 320,000 doses.

More here.

12.6 14:05 THL: 114 new cases on Saturday

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Saturday said it had registered 114 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases. Friday recorded the lowest daily number of new infections so far this year with 47 new cases.

12.6 13:10 Half of adults jabbed

Fifty percent of people over the age of 16 in Finland had received one dose of a Covid vaccine by Saturday, according to public health institute THL.

This means that 2.7 million people have received one shot so far, an increase of 43,500 since Friday.

11.6. 14:41 Nearly half of population receives first vaccine dose, including PM Marin

As of Friday, nearly half of Finland’s population had received their first dose of the Covid vaccine. The first jab has been given to 49.2 percent of people living in Finland, or just over 2,744,000 people, according to THL data. One of those was Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) who tweeted on Friday that she received her first dose of the Covid vaccine.

Two doses have been given to 12.2 percent of the population, or just over 675,000 people.

11.6 12:24 THL: 47 new cases on Friday

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has registered 47 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday. This is the lowest daily amount of new infections recorded so far this year.

11.6 12:05 Green light for long-awaited extension of restaurant opening hours

Helsinki and Uusima's bars and restaurants will finally be able to stay open for longer.

The improved coronavirus figures have allowed for the relaxation of restrictions on pubs and eateries in Helsinki and Uusimaa. From Friday 6 pm, bars and restaurants will be able to welcome customers between 5 am and 10 pm.

The Helsinki region's coronavirus co-ordination group downgraded the capital to the middle level of Finland's three-stage Covid epidemic classification on Thursday.

In addition to the extended opening hours, bars and restaurants will now be able to keep serving alcoholic drinks for longer. The new rules say that alcoholic beverages can be served between 7 am and 10 pm.

11.6 8:39 Papers: Vaccine success and a plea from the Estonian PM

Friday morning's Iltalehti looks at municipalities where local authorities are vaccinating younger age groups against Covid. While most places are only just getting to people in their thirties, IL has identified at least 44 municipalities where 16-29-year-olds are getting jabbed - with Lohja one prime example.

Meanwhile Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas published an open letter to her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin (SDP) urging her to relax restrictions on work-based travel from Estonia. Marin has not yet replied at the time of writing.

Read more on these stories, and the rest of our Friday morning paper review, here.

10.6 18:06 Restrictions on assembly to be lifted in most of Uusimaa

On Thursday afternoon the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health tweeted that the Uusimaa region had returned to the acceleration phase.

The ministry said that the government would decide on an easing of restrictions on restaurants and bars on Friday morning. It said that the goal was for the changes to take effect in the Uusimaa region as early as Friday.

Meanwhile the Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) of Southern Finland said on Thursday that restrictions on gatherings in most of Uusimaa would also be lifted as of Tuesday.

Most of Uusimaa, except for Espoo and Kauniainen, will return to baseline levels, with restrictions on gatherings being lifted altogether, the agency said.

10.6 15:25 Helsinki region pubs to stay open till 11pm

The Helsinki region's coronavirus co-ordination group has downgraded the Covid situation in the capital to the middle level of Finland's three-stage Covid epidemic classification.

That means bars and restaurants could keep serving alcoholic drinks for longer, until 10 pm — once the switch is rubber-stamped by the central government.

More details here.

10.6 13:10 93 new cases on Thursday

Finland has now recorded 93,613 cases of the coronavirus, including 93 added on Thursday.

The biggest growth in cases came in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district, where there were 43 new cases.

The second biggest rise came in southwest Finland.

Nearly 60 people are in hospital with Covid, and seven are in intensive care. Those numbers remain unchanged from Wednesday.

9.6 18:56 Use of two different vaccines effective and safe, preliminary research finds

According to preliminary research, the combined use of adenovirus vector vaccines and mRNA vaccines is effective, the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported on Wednesday.

This means that people who received the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine as their first dose can safely take an mRNA vaccine — like the one manufactured by Pfizer — as their second.

Read more here.

9.6 18:34 Finnish conscripts to be offered Covid vaccines in July

The Finnish Defence Forces said on Wednesday that Covid-19 vaccines will be offered to conscripts on a voluntary basis in July.

The military agency said that vaccinations will be available to currently enrolled military members as well as new conscripts due to arrive that month.

Conscripts who get the jabs will then receive their second doses in the autumn, according to the recommended schedule. If conscripts have previously received a first dose, the Defence Forces said a second one would be arranged by the military's health care department.

9.6 17:27 Nearly half of Finland has received first jab

As of Wednesday, 48.3 percent of Finland's population had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, or nearly 2.7 million people, according to THL data.

The number of doses increased by around 25,000 since the previous day on Wednesday.

Approximately 11.5 percent of the population had received both Covid vaccine doses, or just over 638,000 people as of Wednesday, an increase of around 14,000.

9.6 15:59 THL: 126 new cases on Wednesday

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported there were 126 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Finland over the past day on Wednesday, bringing the country's overall case total to 93,520.

The largest proportion of Wednesday's cases, 44, were recorded in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District.

THL also reported five new coronavirus-related deaths over the past week, which brought the country's Covid death toll to 964. The institute currently reports coronavirus-related fatalities on a weekly basis on Wednesdays.

Meanwhile, there were 58 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals around the country as of Wednesday, which is two fewer patients than on the previous day. Out of those patients, 11 were receiving treatment in intensive care units, THL reported.

8.6 19:28 Government eases restrictions on bars, restaurants

The government has announced a further easing of restrictions on bars and restaurants as Finland's coronavirus situation continues to calm.

Read more on this story here.

8.6 14:25 Fewer people took sick leave last year, despite pandemic

It may seem counter-intuitive but round 14.5 million days of sickness allowance were paid out by social security institution Kela in 2020, around five percent fewer than in the previous year.

The fall in sickness-related absences from work may be due to changes related to the pandemic, such as increased teleworking, reduced social contact, changes in employment practices and shifts in the way people sought and accessed care.

Read the full story here.

8.6 12:50 Finland reports 113 infections

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has registered 113 new lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing Finland's total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 93,394.

7.6 16:01 Youngsters in Finland to take part in global Covid vaccine trials

Finnish researchers are looking for hundreds of children to take part in a study on the coronavirus vaccine.

The study by the University of Tampere's Vaccine Research Centre and the Meilahti Vaccine Research Centre (MeVac) is part of a global effort to extend the vaccine to children as young as six months old.

Read more here.

7.6 15:16 Finnish leaders join call for G7 to help vaccinate poorer nations

Former President Tarja Halonen and other leaders and influential individuals from Finland have joined a group of former presidents and prime ministers from around the world to urge the world's richest countries to help deliver Covid vaccines to the world's poorest nations.

Read more on this story here.

7.6 13:48 More than 2.6m in Finland receive first jabs

A total of 2,636,209 people have received the first of two Covid vaccine doses as of Monday, according to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

In other words, 47.3 percent of the population have received their first jabs. Meanwhile, the number of people who have received both vaccine doses reached 607,788 — or 11 percent of the population.

7.6 11:51 Finland reports 55 new cases

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has reported 55 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday.

7.6 8:50 Monday's papers: Covid hits summer jobs

Summer jobs are another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a story in Monday's Helsingin Sanomat.

The paper reports that there are tens of thousands fewer posts available for temporary workers than usual this summer, as uncertainty over pandemic regulations hits hiring in sectors like hospitality and tourism.

Read more on this and more in today's roundup.

6.6 17:20 Authorities warn of infection risk in crowds as Finland plays hockey final

Authorities were bracing for possible large gatherings on Sunday evening, when the Finnish ice hockey team plays in the men's International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship final.

Asko Järvinen, chief physician of infectious diseases at the Helsinki-Uusimaa hospital district (HUS), called for restraint in any possible celebrations.

You can read more here.

6.6 17:06 More than 1m cast ballots in extended advance voting

As of Sunday, more than a million people had cast advance votes in the municipal elections, or nearly 23 percent of eligible voters.

Due to the pandemic, advance voting has been extended to two weeks instead of the usual one. The last day to cast an early vote in Tuesday. Advance voting for about a quarter-million Finns abroad ended on Saturday. Election Day proper is Sunday 13 June.

6.6 13:36 Incidence rate drops to 31

The THL said on Sunday that the incidence rate of Covid-19 infections over the past two-week period has fallen to about 31 infections per 100,000 residents. The incidence rate for the previous two weeks was over 52.

The country's highest incidence rate, slightly below 67, is in Kanta-Häme (including the city of Hämeenlinna), while the lowest is in Lapland, where it is less than two.

Meanwhile the first-dose vaccination rate has edged up to 47.2 percent of the whole population, with nearly 11 percent fully vaccinated.

6.6. 12:20 Sixty-eight new infections

Sixty-eight new coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in Finland, the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Sunday.

The highest number of new infections, 46, were detected in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

Over the past two weeks, 1,104 fewer infections have been reported than in the preceding two-week period. A total of 93,226 infections have been diagnosed since the epidemic began.

There are 67 patients in hospital, 10 of them in intensive care.

5.6 18:16 Estonia criticises Finnish travel restrictions

On Friday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas summoned Finnish Ambassador Timo Kantola to address the issue of Finland's travel restrictions.

The meeting came as a result of the Finnish government's decision on Thursday to extend entry restrictions until 27 June. However as of Monday, work-related travel to Finland by air will be allowed from EU or Schengen zone countries.

Most commuting and other traffic between Estonia and Finland takes place by ship, though.

Full story here.

5.6 16:07 Restaurant restrictions may be eased next week

The government's ministerial group on health and social affairs is proposing looser restrictions on catering businesses. Ministers said late Friday that the changes should be agreed on by the whole cabinet as early as possible next week.

Restaurants and bars in areas where the pandemic situation is at the base level would be allowed to serve between 7 am and 1 am. Dining-oriented restaurants may be open from 5 am to 2 am.

A separate ban on karaoke and dancing is to be lifted in regions at the base level or acceleration phase.

You can read more here.

5.6 14:22 Highest vaccine coverage in Lahti, Pori and Vantaa

As of Saturday, 2.62 million people, or 47 percent of Finland's population, had received at least a first dose of vaccine. The number increased from Friday by about 38,000.

Nearly 600,000 residents, or 10.8 percent of the population, are fully vaccinated.

Of Finland's large cities, the highest vaccine coverage is in Lahti, Pori and Vantaa.

South Savo is the most-vaccinated province, with almost 59 percent of residents having received a jab.

On Monday, Helsinki begins vaccinating people aged 30 and up.

5.6 11:50 THL reports 120 more cases

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported 120 new Covid-19 infections in Finland on Saturday. That brings the overall total to 93,158 cases since January 2020.

During the past two weeks, there have been more than 1,000 fewer new cases than during the previous fortnight.

The highest number of new infections, 73, were detected in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS), with 30 in Pirkanmaa, which includes the city of Tampere.

The daily new caseload has remained below 300 for seven weeks, with several days under 100 recently.

4.6 13:30 Defence Forces flag day again a mostly-virtual event

Due to the pandemic, the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) is again being observed on a subdued note on Friday, as it was last year. The traditional military parade, usually held on a rotating basis in various cities, has been cancelled for a second consecutive year.

Instead, the main event of the day was a concert performed by the Dragoon Band, which can be seen on Yle Areena as part of a roundup of the day’s events.

More details here.

4.6 11:41 THL: 125 cases on Friday

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL reported 125 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing Finland's overall total to 93,038.

3.6 14:39 Incidence rate drops to 40

Officials were upbeat when the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) held their weekly coronavirus briefing on Thursday morning.

According to THL Medical Specialist Otto Helve, Finland's incidence rate has dropped from 53 to 40 per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks. Caseloads have decreased in all age groups, especially among young people.

Read more on this story here.

3.6 11:48 Cultural sector plans demonstration outside Parliament

Workers from Finland's cultural sector plan to gather for a demonstration in front of Parliament House at noon on Thursday.

The approximately two-hour event is aimed at pressuring politicians to allow larger public events and to begin immediate payment of freelancer coronavirus subsidies. The industry is also demanding that the state invest at least one percent of its budget on culture and bolster the status and safety net of freelancers in the cultural sector.

More details here.

3.6 9:48 Dreaming of a foreign holiday? A guide to travelling abroad

Many in Finland are eager to head abroad on vacation trips, but rules and entry bans in other countries vary greatly. Check out our guide to the travel guidelines and restrictions for countries traditionally popular among Finland's holidaymakers.

2.6 16:55 Oulu rolls out Covid vaccines to 35-year-olds

Covid-19 vaccinations in Oulu are being opened up to people aged 35 and up, which includes individuals born in 1986 or before, according to local authorities on Wednesday.

The city is administering the Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccines, both of which are mRNA-type jabs.

Vaccinations are also being rolled out to people over the age 16 belonging to first and second category risk groups, the city said.

2.6 16:20 THL expert explains how to hold graduation parties safely

This weekend thousands of youngsters and graduates are set to celebrate the end of the school year. But as the coronavirus epidemic is still ongoing, health authorities are recommending that parties be held safely.

Hanna Nohynek, a vaccinologist with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), offered several tips on how to more safely arrange festivities in the age of Covid-19.

Read the full story here.

2.6 16:13 When Finland reaches herd immunity remains open question

Finland will soon hit the target of getting the first of two Covid vaccine doses into the arms of 70 percent of the adult population — but that may not be enough to achieve herd immunity.

Initially it had been estimated that 70 percent coverage would be enough to achieve herd immunity, but experts in Finland and abroad now believe one dose is unlikely to be enough.

Read the full story here.

2.6 12:29 Finland sees 128 new cases on Wednesday

Finland recorded 128 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 over the past day on Wednesday, bringing the overall number of cases in the country to 92,770, according to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The majority of cases (91) were diagnosed in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District.

As of Wednesday there were 80 people receiving hospital treatment for coronavirus infections, 12 fewer than on Tuesday. Out of the Covid patients in hospitals, 15 were in intensive care as of Wednesday.

1.6 14:32 SMEs report improved Q2

A fresh survey by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises indicates that business improved across the board for smaller companies in the spring, as coronavirus restrictions eased.

Fewer and fewer entrepreneurs say their businesses are in difficulty or at risk of bankruptcy, or that they are considering shutting down their business.

Read more here.

1.6 12:07 Finland reports 154 cases on Tuesday

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL has registered 15 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing Finland's total since the beginning of the pandemic to 92,642.

The highest number of new cases were detected in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district, where 60 cases were diagnosed.

1.6 12:05 Mandatory testing begins on Lapland border

Beginning from Tuesday 1 June, all travellers arriving into Finland at any border crossing point in Lapland must undergo to a mandatory health check.

Read more on this story here.

1.6 9:25 Newspapers offer epidemic updates

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat is among the papers reporting that as of Tuesday it will be easier to organize outdoor events, sports and sports services, following an announcement by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health that the definition of close contact set out in the Communicable Diseases Act will no longer apply in outdoor situations.

As reported by Yle on Monday, up to 356,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines are scheduled to be delivered to Finland during the coming week, a significant rise that is expected to speed up the nation's vaccination programme. However, according to the daily Iltalehti, the level of deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine is, however, set to fall again in August – September, slowing the rate of vaccination.

For more on these and other stories, you can find Tuesday's newspaper review here.

For previous updates, click here

Latest in: News

Headlines

Our picks

Latest

Muualla Yle.fi:ssä