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Coronavirus latest: 412 new cases on Friday, new restrictions on the way

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

Pfizer-rokotetta valmistava sairaanhoitajat Vantaan Energia Areena rokotuskeskuksessa. 26.5.2021.
Vaccination rates are slowly ticking up in Finland. Image: Jorge Gonzalez / Yle

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

23.7 17:47 HUS region introduces gathering rules

The whole of the Helsinki and Uusimaa region is now in the acceleration stage, says the region's Covid co-ordination group.

Previously western parts of the region were at the 'base' level, rather than the acceleration stage.

The group wants people in Uusimaa to limit indoor private gatherings to ten people or fewer.

Meanwhile Kanta-Häme is also entering the acceleration stage, according to local authorities there. They have not yet recommended any new restrictions, however.

23.7 12:55 THL: 412 new cases in Finland

Finland has recorded 412 new cases of coronavirus, reported THL on Friday. The largest number of new cases was recorded in the Helsinki and Uusimaa region, where an additional 195 people tested positive.

Over the last two weeks 4,204 people have tested positive for Covid, which is 1,657 more than during the previous two weeks.

In total, Finland has recorded 102,042 cases of Covid during the pandemic.

22.7 18:43 Government approves restrictions

Ministers approved a tightening of restrictions in some regions on Thursday, after case counts increased.

Positivity rates are also up, at 2.3 percent this week.

Restaurants, pubs and bars in South-west Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme and Uusimaa will have to close at 1am and stop serving alcohol at midnight.

Capacities will also be restricted. More detail on the Covid situation and the restrictions in our story.

22.7 12:31 404 new cases in Finland

THL has added 404 new confirmed coronavirus infections to Finland's total, which now stands at 101,630 over the course of the pandemic.

Helsinki and uusimaa recorded the largest chunk of new infections, with 217.

22.7 11:25 Tampere contact tracing service congested, 40 new cases in Pirkanmaa

Pirkanmaa is seeing a sharp rise in daily coronavirus infections with 40 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

TAYS (Tampere University Hospital) tweeted that the worsening situation has congested the contact tracing system, delaying their efforts to contact infected patients and figure out who they may have exposed. The hospital district also shared the dates and locations of possible exposure hotspots on Facebook and Twitter.

21.7 13:00 HS: Nightlife restrictions coming back for acceleration stage regions

The government intends to reintroduce some restrictions on Thursday, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The paper's sources suggest that ministers will hold a meeting at which they are likely to decide to reintroduce restrictions in areas that have entered the 'acceleration stage' of the epidemic.

If they do so, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open from 5am until 1am each day. Alcohol sales will be permitted from 9am until midnight.

In addition, 'wet' bars and pubs will be restricted to 50 percent of normal capacity, while eateries serving food will be allowed 75 percent of their usual upper limit.

THL says that Uusimaa, Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme and South-west Finland are in the acceleration phase of the epidemic, under Finland's three-stage classification.

21.7 12:21 Q&A on children's vaccination

Finland has not yet decided to vaccinate 12 to 15 year-olds, but a decision is expected in August. That way, children could get the jab in the early part of the school year. Read our Q&A here.

21.7 12:14 453 new cases in Finland

Finland has reported an additional 453 cases of Covid infection. That brings the total to 101,226 infections over the course of the pandemic.

Helsinki and Uusimaa has more new cases, with an extra 255 reported on Wednesday. Hospitals have 56 patients on Covid wars, including 10 in ICU.

20.7 17:49 Ministry says holidaymakers must pay for Covid tests

Finland's public sector providers should not be giving tests to people who need Covid certificates for their foreign travel, according to the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health.

Read our story here.

20.7 12:25 Finland reports 461 new cases

THL confirmed 461 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 100,773 since the start of the pandemic.

The highest number of new infections, 203, was again detected in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district area. Pirkanmaa hospital district came second with 91 new infections and followed by Päijät-Häme with 47.

20.7 11:45 Helsinki opens up new vaccine slots

Helsinki residents can now bring forward their slot for getting the second dose of Covid vaccine.

Helsinki council says that residents can now get their second dose between eight and twelve weeks after they received the first jab.

The rule change might not advance things that much, as few slots are available in the coming weeks due to a high number of second dose slots.

The municipality still recommends a twelve-week interval between doses, stating that the longer gap improves the effectiveness of the vaccine and makes immunity last longer.

Slots can be brought forward on the website.

20.7 10:40 Finns are less happy, study finds

A survey conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) suggests that one in five Finns is unhappy, up from 17 percent in 2016. The slump in the mental well-being of people in Finland may be partially explained by the coronavirus pandemic.

"One of the reasons for the decline in happiness may be the effects of the coronavirus crisis on working life and the lives of people of working age," EVA research manager said in a press release.

Read the full story here.

19.7 15:21 156 new cases in Finland

THL announced on Monday that Finland has recorded an additional 156 Covid infections, taking the total number of Covid cases in Finland during the pandemic to 100,312.

Currently, hospitals are treating a total of 52 patients on Covid wards, 12 of them in intensive care.

18.7 13:18 180 new cases in Finland

THL announced on Sunday that Finland has recorded an additional 180 Covid infections, taking the total number of Covid cases in Finland during the pandemic to 100,156.

Helsinki recorded the largest number of cases, with 75, while Espoo had 24 and Vantaa 18.

Ten people are in intensive care with Covid, with another 34 being treated in hospital.

17.7 14:15 Exposures, infections at Hanko sailing event

A sailing event at the south-western town of Hanko has led to numerous infections and exposures to Covid infection.

The local council announced on Friday that several people who visited the boating festival on 8-11 July subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

Anyone who visited a total of 14 different restaurants during that period could have been exposed. The full list is available here. In addition people could have been exposed at the Camping Silver Sand campsite between 9 and 13 July.

Swedish-language paper HBL reports that a total of 73 people who attended the regatta subsequently tested positive in Helsinki, while in Espoo seven cases were potentially linked to the event.

Health authorities in Helsinki, Espoo and Hanko are urging everyone who attended the regatta to go for a Covid test as soon as possible, even if they are not displaying symptoms.

17.7 14:05 384 new cases

Finland recorded another 384 Covid cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 99,976. Helsinki had the most new infections, with 104. Next was Tampere with 34 and then Espoo with 33.

One additional death has been recorded, meaning a total of 979 people have now been recorded as having died with Covid in Finland during the pandemic. Hospitals are currently treating a total of 44 patients on Covid wards.

THL also announced that 3,554,030 people in Finland have now received their first dose of a Covid vaccine. That corresponds to 63.7 percent of the population having received at least one dose, with an additional 15,814 first doses recorded since Friday.

Some 1,507,123 people have received both doses, 27.1 percent of the population, with an extra 40,775 people fully-vaccinated since Friday. Check more stats at our Covid dashboard.

Read previous updates here.

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