Finland declares state of emergency as COVID-19 variants fuel rise in cases

Source: The Hill | March 1, 2021 | Zack Budryk

Finnish officials declared a nationwide state of emergency Monday as infections from more contagious coronavirus variants surge.

Finland has sealed its borders, and the state of emergency authorizes the government to curtail travel between regions and force schools to close, Reuters reported.

New cases have surged in recent weeks, particularly among shipping yard and construction workers and skiers in Lapland, according to the news service.

“The government sees it necessary that we all have fewer contacts,” Prime Minster Sanna Marin said at a news conference Monday. “Everyone now has the opportunity to impact how the spring and summer will turn out.”

Marin also said the government may at some point invoke emergency powers that allow it to impose further restrictions on people’s movements, according to Bloomberg. The state of emergency further allows Helsinki to force bars and dine-in restaurants to close their doors to the public for three weeks, beginning next Monday, according to the news outlet.

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