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STT: Partial lifting of restrictions on libraries under consideration

The government will discuss a proposal allowing libraries to begin loaning books again at a meeting on Sunday.

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Libraries across Finland have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Image: Antti Haanpää / Yle

The STT news agency reported on Saturday that a partial lifting of restrictions on libraries will be announced after the government’s coalition partners meet on Sunday.

One government source told STT that the new measures will allow libraries to begin loaning out books again, as the Ministry of Education and Culture has received a number of requests from Finnish citizens to allow libraries to perform this function.

"The library is an important institution in terms of crisis resilience," the source told STT.

Libraries across Finland have attempted to continue to serve customers despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

If a decision is made to partially lift restrictions, the source believes it is unlikely libraries will begin operations again immediately, but rather management and staff will need time to make the necessary arrangements.

Restrictions on events at libraries will, according to the source, remain in place.

The government will also discuss the lifting of restrictions on museums at the meeting, which begins on Sunday morning at the House of the Estates in Helsinki and is expected to continue throughout the day.

A proposal that museums reopen but with a strict limit on the number of people who can enter at any one time will be discussed.

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