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Finland prepares for next school year with tighter anti-COVID measures

The reopening of schools and daycare centres in autumn might lead to a large increase in confirmed cases should no measures be taken beforehand

  • August 12, 2020 09:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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With autumn fast-approaching, so is the start of a new school year – and this time, it will be markedly different. Education has been completely transformed due to the coronavirus pandemic with schools and facilities going digital during the very first months of the crisis. Hopes that everything will return to normal by autumn, however, will most likely be dashed.

Finland taking on a strong stance in daycare centres

The major concern for authorities in Europe when it comes to the reopening of educational institutions is that this will lead to a substantial uptick in cases around the continent. That is why Finnish governmental bodies are drawing up their plans on how to limit the potential spread and how to react should they once again be swept up by the crisis.

Current regulations by the Finnish National Board of Education state that any children arriving at a daycare centre with any coronavirus symptom should stay at home. That means that even if a negative COVID-19 test is presented, the stringent law disallows for maneuver – and would mandate for the child to be turned away even with symptoms of the common cold.

These regulations, however, come into conflict with the advice given by Finland’s National Institute of Health and Welfare, whose representatives claim that kids should be able to return to daycare centres if their symptoms ease.

And while many such discrepancies are bound to be solved quickly on a national level, the final say would remain in the hands of local governmental bodies, who will most likely be granted increased powers in order to tackle any coronavirus outbreaks without the need for national intervention and without requiring country-wide lockdowns and restrictions.

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