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Friday's papers: UK air bridge 'plan', Tampere uni credits and an algae update

Finland's government was surprised at a reported plan for travel between the UK and Finland. 

Levän peittämä lampi
Blue grean algae, the bane of Finnish swimmers. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Plans for expanded freedom to travel have been on the news agenda everywhere, and Finland is no different.

On Thursday the BBC said the UK government was set to announce plans for 'air bridges' between Britain and numerous other countries, including Finland.

The story states that "UK holidaymakers could be able to travel to most of Western Europe this summer without having to quarantine", but NewsNowFinland reports that the plan apparently made its way to the BBC before Finnish ministers were aware of it.

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo told the website that such a plan involving the UK is 'not currently in preparation'. Current Finnish rules state that anyone from the UK arriving in Finland would have to self-isolate for two weeks.

Finland will ease those rules for Germany, Ireland and several other countries from the middle of July, but the UK is not on that list.

Britain could join that group in July, but only if the coronavirus epidemic in the country is well under control.

Tampere uni credit boost

Tampere paper Aamulehti reports that the city's university is top of the class in one respect: the number of credits completed during lockdown.

The paper says that students at the university completed some 35,000 credits more in April and May this year than they did last year.

The credit boom might not just be down to lockdown boredom and distance learning, however. The university says it is looking into the phenomenon and suggests some courses moving from the summer months to May might partially explain it.

The next biggest increase in credits at Finnish universities was recorded at the University of Eastern Finland, which gave out some 7,000 credits more than it did in the same months in 2019.

Algae alert

Finland's warm June has sent people to the beaches and waterways nationwide, but it's also been a boon for the growth of blue-green algae.

The aquatic organisms spoil the swimming conditions, spread toxins and generally prevent people from getting into the water.

The hot and still conditions currently dominating the weather are perfect for algal blooms to develop at sea and on inland waterways.

Helsingin Sanomat reports on Friday that the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) has had increased reports of the blue-green menace.

It is most common in southern sea areas, but there have also been reports in southern and central lakes as well.

Syke says there's considerable risk of a blue-green algae boom this summer, but that depends on the weather.

With a colder turn expected next week, swimmers' summer might yet be saved.

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