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Thursday's papers: Young adults offended, fresh testing measures and new national parks

Finland's youth say that authorities' negative generalisation of their behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic is unfair.

Joukko nuoria kadulla, yhdellä maski kasvoillaan.
Young people account for almost half of the number of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Finland in recent weeks, according to latest figures by THL. Image: Arttu Timonen / Yle

Young adults in Finland say they are disappointed at being painted as irresponsible partygoers who are spreading coronavirus, according to daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Young people have accounted for almost half of the number of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Finland in recent weeks, according to latest figures provided by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Lasse Lehtonen , director of diagnostics at the Helsinki University Hospital District had recently said that young peoples' carefree partying ways threaten to ruin Christmas for everyone.

According to HS, youngsters are already in a challenging situation during the pandemic and this kind of negative generalisation of their behaviour is adding to their stress.

Sofia Laine, researcher at the Finnish Youth Research Network said a new survey revealed that young people suffer from loneliness more than any other age group.

The researcher pointed out that not all young people can be bundled together and they are not all throwing parties and celebrating in large groups. Many students are stressed out about their studies and these trying times have only increased the pressure.

The message from the authorities seems a little derogatory, according to 20-year-old Iines Joronen, a student at the University of Helsinki.

"Do they think we have no self-control when it comes to partying or that we don’t have common sense?" she told HS.

Twenty-two-year-old Pauliina Tuominen added that a lot of students do follow recommendations.

"There is no need to report things as if the situation is entirely our fault," she said.

The students said that consulting and involving young people while planning new solutions could prove to be a more constructive approach.

Updated travel guidelines in effect

As of Thursday, two voluntary corona tests are recommended for any Finnish resident arriving from a high-risk country if they wish to shorten a recommended two-week voluntary quarantine period.

This is part of Finland’s latest travel and testing guidelines announced last week.

Foreign passengers, on the other hand, are being advised to test first in their country of origin and late in Finland no earlier than three days after the first test, Maaseuden Tulevaisuus reported.

If the trip to Finland lasts less than three days, the traveller is not required to take the second test or stay in quarantine.

In addition, daily traffic between communities on northern Finland's borders with Sweden and Norway continue to be permitted as well as work-related travel from Sweden and Estonia.

These guidelines will be in effect until 22 November, after which current border control restrictions within the EU will end and entry will be based on testing.

Finland to get two new national parks

Minister of the Environment and Climate Krista Mikkonen (Green) plans to announce the establishment of two new national parks in Finland, according to news group Uutissuomalainen.

The ministry has received five to six new applications in addition to a few older ones, tabloid Iltalehti said.

Some of the nature reserves nominated for the special status include Evo in Hämeenlinna, Sallatunturi in Lapland, Porkkala in southern Finland, Haarikko in Southern Savonia and Posio in Lapland.

According to Mikkonen, the selected areas must be important recreational areas and meet the nature conservation criteria.

There are a total of 40 national parks in Finland. The first parks were established in 1938. The most popular, Pallas – Yllästunturi, is visited by more than half a million people every year.

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