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PM Marin: Vaccination of 12-15-year-olds set to begin

The Prime Minister also said that the government would discuss the possible introduction of a Covid certificate at a meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Pääministeri Marin kävelee valkoisessa mekossa käytävällä. Takana kaksi ihmistä kävelee ministerin perässä.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) was interviewed on Yle TV1's A-studio current affairs programme on Wednesday evening. Image: Hilma Toivonen / Yle

Finland's vaccination rollout is set to be extended to include the 12- to 15-year-old age groups, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told Yle's A-studio current affairs programme on Wednesday evening.

"Fortunately, we have received an extra batch of approximately 200,000 doses of vaccine in Finland, from which these vaccinations [for 12- to 15-year-olds] can be started without interfering with other vaccination programmes," Marin said.

The issue will be discussed at a government meeting on Thursday and vaccinations could begin as early as next week, if the government can reach an agreement.

Marin also said that she believed the introduction of a Covid certificate in Finland was "fundamentally positive", but she noted that the pass faces both legal and practical challenges.

The pass could be used by people to attend various leisure activities and events, but would not apply to public services as they must be open to all, she said.

"It can in no way concern public services or essential services that everyone must have access to. It would be about how event activities, restaurant activities and the like could be kept as open as possible," Marin said, adding that she thinks Parliament's Constitutional Law Committee would raise objections to the possible introduction of the pass.

However, the government will also discuss the pass at Thursday's meeting with Marin predicting that it could, depending on the legal and practical matters, enter into force in September or October at the earliest.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has prepared a brief for discussion at Thursday's meeting.

Marin: No full closures likely for bars, restaurants

The PM also told A-studio that while restrictions on bars and restaurants are set to be tightened in many parts of the country this week, full closures are unlikely.

"These are limits on drinking time, opening hours, compliance with safety distances and customer seating," Marin said.

New cases of Covid-19 have increased at an accelerated rate in recent weeks in many areas of Finland, with health authorities reporting 752 infections on Thursday. Last week there were 4,574 new diagnosed cases while during the previous week the figure was 2,925.

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