Finland to close border and schools to stem corona spread

Published March 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

The Finnish prime minister announced emergency measures on Monday to try and contain the coronavirus, including the widespread closure of public and educational institutions and a ban on public gatherings of over ten people.

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks during a press conference to present new measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Helsinki, Finland on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP) / Finland OUT
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks during a press conference to present new measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Helsinki, Finland on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP) / Finland OUT

At a press conference, Sanna Marin outlined 19 restrictions which will remain in force until 13 April, including preparations to shut the border in the near future.

“Limitations may be placed on the free movement of people in response to threats against life and health,” Marin said.

This includes the self-isolation of over-70 year-olds, she said, with the exception of MPs and local authority leaders.

Schools, colleges and universities will close from Wednesday as well as all public cultural and sports facilities.

Finland has so far confirmed 277 cases of the new coronavirus, with no fatalities, although authorities are currently not testing everyone who shows symptoms so authorities believe the actual number of infections is
far higher.

At the press conference Finland’s finance minister Katri Kulmuni also announced a five billion euro ($5.6 billion) support package to combat the economic impact of the virus.

 
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