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Coronavirus latest: Restaurant restrictions to be extended, STT says; Experts disagree over travel to Estonia; 739 cases on Wednesday

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

Helsingin rautatieasemalla käytettiin päivällä kasvomaskeja.
Woman wearing face mask on train platform at Helsinki Central Railway station. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

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

27.10 16:13 STT: Bar, restaurant restrictions to be extended

Citing government sources, news agency STT reported that Finland's government parties have unanimously agreed that coronavirus-related restaurant and bar restrictions should be extended even after they are scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

The news agency said the government is reviewing this week how the restrictions could be extended.

Read more here.

27.10 12:25 THL: 739 new cases as hospitalisations decline

Public health authority THL has confirmed 739 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday. Finland's total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 156,286.

The agency also reported a slight decrease in the number of people receiving treatment in hospitals for the virus, down to 206 from 215 on Monday. There have also been no further Covid-related fatalities in Finland since THL last reported the latest figures on Monday. Finland's death toll from the pandemic therefore remains at 1,150.

27.10 8:57 Papers: Experts disagree over travel to Estonia

Helsingin Sanomat's main story on Wednesday morning concerns a difference of opinion between two of Finland's top pandemic specialists over how safe it currently is to travel to Estonia or the other Baltic nations.

Pasi Pohjola of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health tells HS that Finnish authorities have been monitoring the rapidly deteriorating pandemic situation in Estonia "with concern".

However, public health agency THL's Director of Health Security Mika Salminen believes fully-vaccinated people can make trips across the Baltic Sea.

Read more on this story, and the rest of our Wednesday morning paper review, here.

25.10 18:43 Survey: Business travel won't return to pre-Covid levels

It appears very unlikely that Finland's business travel will return to pre-Covid levels, according to an informal Yle survey of more than two dozen of the country's top-listed companies.

Yle asked 30 firms listed at the top of the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange about their plans for the future. A total of 25 replied to the survey, with nearly all of them saying that, looking ahead, they are planning significantly less business-related air travel than before the Covid crisis began.

Read more here.

25.10 14:01 THL: 1,700 new cases, 11 deaths

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Monday said there were 1,732 new lab-confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Finland since Friday, the last time such figures were reported.

The institute also reported 11 additional Covid-related fatalities in Finland, bringing the country's epidemic death toll to 1,150.

As of Monday there were 215 Covid patients receiving care in the country's hospitals, 34 of whom were in intensive care units.

The number of Covid patients in ICU wards increased by four over the weekend, while the number of patients in hospital care rose by 10.

Blog continues after photo

Sairaanhoitaja hoitaa koronapotilasta suojavarusteissa teho-osastolla
A Covid-19 patient in an intensive care unit at Turku University Hospital (Tyks). Image: Arash Matin / Yle

25.10 11:35 Transport operators end mandatory mask order

VR and HSL said passengers can continue to wear face coverings if they wish to do so in accordance with the national mask recommendation.

HSL introduced the mask mandate in March this year, as Finland's infection rate spiralled, but said it was moving from obligation to recommendation in line with the easing of wider societal restrictions.

More on this story here.

25.10 9:39 No more masks in schools

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has lifted its recommendation on masks in schools for pupils in grade 6 and up as of 25 October.

The risk of contracting coronavirus in daycares, schools and other educational institutions is now small, according to the THL.

Find out more about this story and other news in Monday morning's news round up.

For previous updates, click here.

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