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Easter weekend reminders: Opening times, traffic and weather update

Virtually all of Finland's public sector services and agencies will be shuttered during the holiday weekend but in a first, the state-owned alcohol monopoly Alko will open on Easter Saturday.

Pääsiäinen hankien keskellä
File photo. Image: Jyrki Lipponen

Thousands of Finnish residents are expected to hop onto planes, trains and automobiles for the long Easter weekend, which begins on Friday.

Roads are expected to be busiest on Thursday afternoon through Good Friday, but wintry weather in most of the country may make roads a bit less congested than in past years, according to road safety officials.

Many are expected to head off to visit friends and relatives in towns and cities across the country this weekend, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) said.

The most congested corridors are anticipated to be on highway hubs surrounding metropolitan areas like the capital region, around Tampere, Lahti, Jyväskyä and Heinola.

Drivers who find themselves in need of roadside assistance can contact the country's automobile and touring club Autoliitto which is carrying out its annual Easter driver assistance campaign again this year. Throughout the weekend until Monday morning, Autoliitto volunteers are prepared to assist drivers in need of help. Roadside help can be requested by calling 0200 8080 (€1.95/min + local call charges).

Weather outlook

The weather during most of the Easter weekend is expected to feature dry, sunny conditions across most of the country. Road conditions for the first few days of the holiday are expected to be seasonally normal for winter.

On Monday however, those favourable conditions look like they will change as a precipitation system approaching the country could bring snow and slippery driving conditions in some parts of the country.

Opening hours, schedules

The listing of opening times of shops, agencies and services during holidays in Finland was significantly simpler just a few years ago; before the country de-regulated retail opening hours in 2016.

Nowadays, rather than following national regulations for business hours, shopkeepers and restaurant owners are able to decide for themselves.

Many grocery and retail stores remain open during at least part of the Easter holiday now, but it is recommended to check with particular stores to be sure.

National postal service Posti offices are scheduled to be closed for the long weekend, but now that Posti has outlets in many grocery stores across the country, there is the possibility of sending packages and letters on their way -- and picking up incoming mail and parcel deliveries. Check Posti's website (service in Finnish) for more details.

Alko, the country's monopoly alcohol retail chain, has announced that it will be open on Easter Saturday for the first time. The firm said that 345 of its shops will have normal operating hours on Saturday (9 am to 6 pm), with about ten serving customers during adjusted hours. But on Friday and the rest of the holiday, however, Alko will be closed before opening again on Tuesday.

Banks will be closed from Friday and reopen on Tuesday.

Local public transportation schedules will be adjusted, and it is best to check particulars before heading out.

Long-distance transport providers, like bus firms Matkahuolto, Onnibus and passenger rail service VR have changed schedules during the holiday period.

Finavia, the country's national aiport operator firm, has issued its annual Easter advisory that airline passengers should be sure to arrive at the airport in good time. Finavia said that Helsinki Airport would be particularly busy until Saturday, 31 March.

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