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 place for the Tampere area, with the apparent choice of either banning large events altogether or severely restricting the number of people allowed to attend.

The all-new Tampere Arena has seen several major 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 does not avoid the difficult timing of the current upsurge on a case-by-case basis, just before the holiday season.

Paper has great functionality (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 newspaper 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 are finding that dates are skimpy on the ground. There is a gap between the three largest municipalities in the capital region, with Vantaa leading the way in offering boosters.

The northernmost Helsinki regional council has offered booster shots to anyone over 18 since December 14, but Helsinki itself only opened reservations for people not at high risk until Monday. of Covid.

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 much delayed reactor was ignited at 3:22 a.m. Local newspaper Satakunnan Kansa was present (siirryt toiseen palveluun) for this momentous event, noting that the West Coast facility is expected to produce around 14% of Finland’s electricity needs.

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