Sign up for our newsletter ⟩
News |

Tuesday's papers: Returning to normal, travel takes off, boar hunt in Helsinki

Morning papers look at the end of the state of emergency, reviving travel, media use and a boar hunt in the capital.

Kuvassa on Sinebrychoffin puisto, missä ihmiset ottavat aurinkoa ja nauttivat hellepäivästä.
Life in Finland is returning more to normal although a number of restrictions and recommendations remain in place. Image: Arttu Timonen / Yle

Kuopio's Savon Sanomat is among the papers that report Finland entering a new stage as the government's decision to lift state of emergency promoted by the coronavirus epidemic came into force on Tuesday.

However, the paper points out that the end of the state of emergency does not mean that the epidemic is over, so the public should continue to observe health recommendations concerning personal hygiene and safe distancing.

The government, it writes, will be meeting on Wednesday to review continuing restrictions and recommendations. Some of these, in particular restrictions that were imposed under the terms of laws other than the Emergency Powers Act will remain in force.

Savon Sanomat notes that these include restrictions on restaurants and cafés whose operations have been limited under public health legislation.

In addition, a large number of recommendations will continue in force concerning activities such as mass public events, working from home, and leisure travel.

In a look at the period of the state of emergency, Director Health Security Mika Salminen of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL told the Helsinki daily Helsingin Sanomat that Finland was able to "put the brakes on the spread" of the epidemic better than had been expected.

He said that while it is difficult to predict how people will behave in this kind of situation, following an initial period of frustration, the Finns took it seriously and followed recommendations.

According to Salminen, it was in particular non-medical measures, such as hygiene and distancing that worked better than had been anticipated. He estimated that direct physical contact among the Finns fell by 75 percent.

Borders open to the south and north

The Jyväskylä daily Keskisuomalainen writes that Monday was a "day of joy" for cruise passengers in southern Finland and business owners in the north of Finnish Lapland.

"Travellers, relieved at the lifting of restrictions strolled through Helsinki's West Harbour Terminal on Monday, some of them on their way to stock up on drink for the Midsummer holiday. Many said they we're just taking a cruise back and forth [to Estonia] to do some shopping," the paper reports.

In the north, Finland's border with Norway was reopened on Monday, and according to Keskisuomalainen, many Finnish businesses in the area immediately saw an influx of Norwegian customers. As the paper points out, Norwegian trade is crucial for the survival of many small businesses along the border.

It gives the example of a supermarket in Utsjoki which was full of customers as soon as it opened its doors on Monday - nearly all of them Norwegians.

"Some of them set out at 4:30 AM to drive over from Norway. It's just fantastic," said store manager Seppo Härkönen.

The head of the Finnish Border Guard unit on the Norwegian border, Kimmo Louhelainen, said that there was a significant increase in cross-border traffic on Monday, but no traffic jams, as many locals expected.

He added that there was more traffic from Finland into Norway, many of them headed there for fishing holidays.

Turning to online news

Traditional media is giving way to the web, according to a new study reported by the Helsinki-based Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Citing the Digital News Report 2020 published by the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, Hufvudstadsbladet notes that last year, TV news was still the Finns' preferred news source, but now they have had make way to reporting carried on news websites and mobile applications.

The survey found that 68 percent of Finns prefer to get their news online.

The use of social media also increased compared to last year. 43 percent of Finns say they use social media as a news source at least weekly.

However, overall only nine percent say that social media is their primary source of news. There is though an age gap in this respect, with 31 percent of Finns in the 18-24 year-old group naming social media as their main news source. For people over 65, only two percent cited social media as their main source of news.

Facebook, Youtube and WhatsApp were found to be the most popular channels for accessing news via social media.

On the whole, 89 percent of the Finnish public say they consume news at least once a day.

Police put down wild boars

In two separate incidents late Monday evening, police in Helsinki were called out to deal with wild boars in the capital, reports the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

In the Käpylä district, police shot and killed a sow and her piglet roaming the area after the sow began acting aggressively towards passers-by.

Reports of a wild boar were also received from the areas of Oulunkylä, Malmi and Tapanila. A third wild boar was shot by police overnight in Tapanila when it moved onto a rail line.

Sightings of wild boars in urban districts of Helsinki are rare. Police usually attempt to drive any wild animals that wander into the city away from residential areas, but occasionally put them down if they are considered as posing a danger.

Latest in: News


Our picks