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Finland extends coronavirus emergency measures to mid-May

Finland says current measures taken against coronavirus have worked, but there is no reason yet to relax restrictions.

Sanna Marin
Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the extension of a state of emergency in Finland. Image: Yle

Emergency legislation is to remain in force until at least 13 May to help fight coronavirus, announced Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Monday evening.

She said that the measures taken had been effective, but they should be extended into May to prevent an upsurge in coronavirus cases.

"I want to thank all those Finnish people and businesses that have kept to the restrictions and thereby protected the health of their loved ones," said Marin, who added that Finland is going to ramp up testing in an effort to control the spread of the virus.

The news means schools will offer remote learning for most of their students until at least 13 May, while early years education centres and grades 1-3 will be open for pupils — but the government is pleading with parents to keep their children home if they can.

Passenger ferry services to Sweden will be suspended, and border surveillance increased on northern and western borders.

Freight transport will continue to flow into and out of Finnish ports.

The government is also planning to close all restaurants and bars until 31 May. Both that change and the extension of emergency powers will go to parliament on Tuesday for approval.

The previously-announced restrictions on movement in and out of Uusimaa remain in force until at least 19 April.

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