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Finnish cities on the forefront of preparing for 2nd wave of COVID-19

Local actions, rather than nation-wide strategies, might be better suited for what’s to come, according to officials

  • 4. elokuuta 2020 21.30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium oulu 202132 1280

Following the reopening of borders and the lifting of lockdown restrictions coronavirus cases across Europe have steadily climbed and authorities across the continent are already looking for solutions that might help their societies better cope with a potential second wave of COVID-19.

In sharp contrast to the original measures that were quickly adopted by the government during the first days of the crisis, Finnish officials are now exploring options that would allow the country to continue functioning without the need for a full-scale and nation-wide lockdown, should the disease reemerge over the next few months.

Local solutions tailored to specific locations

The main point currently under consideration in the Nordic country is to create solutions that are specifically tailored to different regions. To do so would require city councils and local authorities to shape their own agendas and their own responses depending on their respective and ongoing experiences with the disease.

The government’s new approach is based on a previous instance on region-specific travel lockdowns – namely the shut-down of Uusimaa’s borders connecting it to the rest of the country. The reason for the total lockdown of the region was the fact that, compared to other parts of Finland, it had many more cases of COVID-19.

Allowing local governments to take on more control over how they respond to a local outbreak would provide their citizens with far more certainty. If local officials see a sharp surge in cases, they might choose to reimpose some lockdown restrictions, to close down schools and public venues and to create special location-specific provisions.

Such a tailored approach would not only allow the country to not be forced to relive the lockdown but might be better suited to the needs of the specific location’s population and would ultimately save lives and protect the economy.



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