Tuesday’s papers: More restrictions eased, marginal parties, new potatoes | New
Sporting events and festivals are set to get back into full swing as Tuesday sees the lifting of distancing requirements for outdoor events.
Ilta-Sanomat tabloid (siirryt toiseen palveluun) is among the newspapers reporting that from Tuesday it will be easier to organize outdoor events, sports and sports services, following an announcement by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health that the definition of close contact set out in the Communicable Diseases Act will no longer apply in outdoor situations.
Safe distancing requirements – not being closer than two meters and avoiding physical contact – must always be observed in enclosed spaces. Limits on the size of gatherings are set regionally by local authorities.
The newspaper further reports that restrictions on gatherings in southwestern Finland are also being eased. Even though southwestern Finland is still in the spreading phase of the pandemic, regional authorities have announced that public events and general assemblies attended by a maximum of ten people indoors and 50 people in open spaces designated exteriors can now be arranged. These rules will be in effect until June 16.
Additionally, in Finnish Lapland, regional health authorities have lifted the 50-person limit on gatherings that was due to come into effect on Tuesday.
As Yle reported on Monday, up to 356,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines are expected to be delivered to Finland over the coming week, a significant increase that is expected to speed up the country’s vaccination program.
Mia Kontioa vaccine logistics specialist from the National Institute of Health and Welfare THL reportedly said that if, based on preliminary EU allocations, this could be the case, but it is not yet certain.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the most commonly used vaccine in Finland.
The EU’s target is for 70% of the adult population to have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine over the summer. According to Kontio, this target should be achieved in Finland by the end of June.
According to the study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL, 14% of Finns reported mental health symptoms and stress. In 2018, the corresponding figure was 12%.
However, suicidal thoughts did not show an overall increase. Such thoughts were found to be more common among people of working age, of whom one in ten respondents reported them.
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HS writes that a number of political movements are now challenging the Green Party and parties of the political left, particularly in the capital region.
The Helsinki Residents’ List, the Environmental Movement Helsinki, the Animal Rights Party, the Crystal Party, the Feminist Party and, in Espoo, the Environmental Party are greener than the government’s Green Party and want to preserve nature at the expense of housing construction.
These groups also offer different approaches.
The Animal Rights Party focuses on viewing environmental issues from the perspective of animals, while the Environmental Party, the Environmental Movement in Helsinki and the Crystal Party look at green spaces from the perspective of local residents. The Open Party and the Pirate Party, on the other hand, approach climate change from the angle of technological development.
Helsingin Sanomat listed the small political movements registered in the municipal elections in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
These also include the Blues, a group that split from the Party of Finland, and the Communist Party of Finland, which only has candidates in Espoo and Vantaa, five in the two cities.
In addition to the representatives of the new political parties, a total of 14 Liberal Party candidates are running as independents on the Swedish People’s Party list in Helsinki and Espoo.
Finally some new potatoes
Maaseudun Tulevaisuus Farmers Union Newspaper (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reports, with great enthusiasm, that the first potatoes of the season were harvested last weekend on the southwestern coastal islands of Houtskär and that this week potato growers in Nauvo, Rymättylä and Merimasku will follow.
Cool spring weather has delayed planting slightly this year, but the availability of new potatoes is expected to increase steadily through the start of summer.
MT says farmers are now delivering to the three big supermarket chains, Kesko, S-Group and Lidl.
New potatoes imported from southern Sweden have been available for some time and are cheaper than their Finnish competitors. But, a representative of a farmers’ union told the newspaper: “We compete on taste and quality.”