Helsinki, Finland

Finland has declared a state of emergency due to the rapid rise of COVID cases

Finland has declared a state of emergency due to the rapid rise of COVID cases

The Finnish government announced a state of emergency and proposed the temporary closure of restaurants and other catering businesses

On Monday, 1 March, the Finnish government – in cooperation with the President of the Republic – declared a state of emergency in Finland as a result of the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. According to the website of the Finnish Government, the Emergency Powers Act states that “a widespread outbreak of a serious infectious disease, the effect of which is comparable to a major disaster, meets the definition of a state of emergency.”

The state of emergency entered into force immediately

This decision was influenced by the spike in COVID cases since the beginning of February 2021. Moreover, it was further prompted by the high number of infections caused by the new virus variants. Thus, the government declared a state of emergency out of fear that the rate of infection may accelerate even more, causing a strain on hospitals and intensive care.

Currently, no rules restricting the fundamental rights of citizens have been announced. Nevertheless, the government has warned that they may be introduced if the number of cases continues to rise significantly.

Restaurant closures proposal

After the government declared the state of emergency, it submitted a proposal to Parliament, asking that restaurants and other catering businesses shut temporarily. More specifically, it proposed a three-week closure from Monday 8 March until Sunday 28 March. In the case that venues close, they will still be open for takeaway and delivery services.

At time of writing, Finland has reported over 58,000 cases and 750 deaths. With its new proposal, the government aims to reduce the spread of the virus, decrease the number of cases, and ensure the safety of its citizens.

The state of emergency will remain in force until it is repealed.

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