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Coronavirus latest: Protest against restrictions, Mu strain detected, Finland plans third dose

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

koronatoimien vastainen mielenosoitus
A demonstration protesting against Covid restrictions drew some 1,000 people on 18 September in downtown Helsinki. Image: Mikko Ahmajärvi / Yle

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

18.9 17:25 Government and health authority at odds over travel restrictions

Public health institute THL has criticised plans by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to ask Parliament to continue travel restrictions for inbound travellers through the end of the year.

These include demanding travellers get two Covid tests if they're unvaccinated.

The THL said transmission risks are smaller now, as the goal is for some 80 percent of people in Finland to be vaccinated by October.

Read more here.

18.9 17:15 Protest over Covid restrictions in Helsinki draws 1,000

A demonstration protesting against Covid restrictions drew some 1,000 people on Saturday afternoon in downtown Helsinki, according to police.

Organisers of the "freedom to choose" demonstration said they were protesting against Covid passports and the vaccination of minors.

18.9 15:35 Finland sees first cases of Mu

Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Mu a "variant of interest." Now the strain has been detected in some 40 countries, including Finland.

Genome sequencing in Finland has identified a few cases of the Mu strain since the summer.

More here.

18.9 12:20 Finland plans for third Covid shots

Finland has made procurement contracts to purchase a third round of Covid vaccines for everyone 12 and older, according to Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP).

Speaking to Yle's Ykkösaamu show on Saturday, Kiuru said Finland has agreed to purchase third vaccine doses if experts recommend an additional rollout of jabs.

The minister said a decision regarding top-up doses would possibly be made during the autumn. "The procurement deals will guarantee that we have the doses if we need them," she explained.

More here.

17.9 11:30 Covid restrictions, remote learning hit schoolkids mental health

The latest school pupils well-being survey suggest that pupils have been hit hard by long stints of remote learning during the pandemic. Girls have been worse-affected than boys, although that could be because they're better able to express their feelings in survey responses. Read more here.

17.9 9:50 HUS offers third doses of Covid jab

Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) said on Friday it was starting to offer third doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine as it races to use the jabs before they go out of date.

In a statement, HUS said it would immediately begin offering the third dose of vaccine to fully-vaccinated individuals at high risk from complications of infection as well as healthcare staff who care for Covid patients in the region.

Read more here.

17.9 9:17 Paper: Travel abroad grows as restrictions ease

Summer may be over but Finland's appetite for travel continues to grow, according to a report in online business publication Taloussanomat.

The paper spoke to experts from some of Finland's largest tour operators and found that more people are planning to travel abroad as the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic ease.

Read more about this and other stories in Friday's newspaper review.

For previous updates click here

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