Tuesday Newspapers: Covid Decisions, Delays in Booster Injections and Finns Return Abroad for Christmas | News

It’s a big day for meetings before Christmas to discuss Covid restrictions.

Vaccination centers are overflowing with impatient vaccines. Image: Petri Kivimäki / Yle

Finland is in the throes of a sharp increase in Covid cases, and with the new Omicron variant seemingly more transmissible than previous versions of the coronavirus, there is a clamor for greater restrictions on daily life to try and slow the spread. .

Aamulehti has a good summary (siirryt toiseen palveluun) of the calendar. At noon, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) will hold a briefing on the Covid situation.

THL boss Markku Terhahauta said on Saturday it was time to suspend use of the Covid pass to bypass restrictions on restaurant and bar opening hours, for example.

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At 4 p.m., ministers meet to discuss their national policy response. They can tighten the restrictions or stop the Covid pass clause that allows establishments requesting Covid passes to avoid any restrictions.

AL also notes the Pirkanmaa Covid coordination group meeting at 3:30 p.m. They will discuss what local restrictions they may impose for the Tampere area, with the choice apparently either to ban large events altogether or to severely restrict the number of people allowed to attend.

The all new Tampere Arena has seen several huge events in recent weeks, with a capacity of 13,000 spectators for ice hockey matches and concerts.

Restrictions are also on the agenda for Helsingin Sanomat, which is not avoiding the difficult timing of the current upsurge on a case-by-case basis, just before the holiday season.

The paper has a great feature (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Finns living abroad returning home after more than a year without seeing their families, a reminder that the pandemic is considerably more difficult for people separated from their loved ones to overcome.

On the other hand, the paper editorial (siirryt toiseen palveluun) suggests that pubs and churches should be closed, remote working encouraged, and that people should spend Christmas at home with their families.

That’s how Finns make Christmas anyway, the newspaper says, so it shouldn’t be too difficult this year.

Delayed boosters

Many people are now trying to get a third dose of the Covid vaccine, and find that the dates are meager in the field. There is a gap between the three largest municipalities in the capital region, with Vantaa in the lead by offering boosters.

The northernmost Helsinki region council has been offering booster shots to anyone over the age of 18 since December 14, but Helsinki itself has only opened bookings for people not exposed to a high risk of Covid on Monday.

There have been complaints online that these times are mostly in January. But it’s better than the situation in Espoo, reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) Iltalehti, where those over 18 who are not in risk groups can only get their reminder appointments from Tuesday.

Even then, these periods are reserved for people aged 50 to 59. So far, only 15.5% of those over 12 in Finland have received three doses of the Covid vaccine.

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Olkiluoto begins

In energy news, Tuesday was a landmark day in Finnish history as the third reactor at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant finally began operating.

The very delayed reactor was ignited at 3:22 a.m. The local newspaper Satakunnan Kansa was at hand (siirryt toiseen palveluun) for this momentous event, noting that the west coast facility is expected to produce around 14 percent of Finland’s electricity needs.

The reactor should be connected to the Finnish grid in January.

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