Covid: Finland begins the gradual lifting of health restrictions

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Kinshasa, February 1st, 2022 (CPA) – The Finnish government has announced that some of the restrictions related to the coronavirus will be lifted sooner than expected, as the pressure on the health system decreases despite the Omicron wave sweeping the European continent, reported the Finnish press.

“The burden on hospitals remains high, but the most serious cases are down and the situation has improved in intensive care”, Health Minister Hanna Sarkkinen wrote in a statement released on Twitter.

According to the same source, from February 1st, restrictions on cultural and sporting events and low-risk businesses will be eased. From the start of next month, restaurants will be able to stay open until 9 p.m., three hours longer than currently allowed, the government said in a statement. Bars will still be required to close at 6 p.m. and stop serving alcohol at 5 p.m.

The Nordic nation of 5.5 million has maintained some of the lowest incidence rates in the European Union throughout the pandemic, but the number of infections has increased in recent weeks due to the Omicron variant. On January 18th, the Finnish government extended a series of health measures introduced in December, including reduced opening hours for restaurants and bars and limits on public gatherings, which were originally intended to remain in place until in mid-February.

Finland registered 52,000 new cases of Covid-19 last week, compared to 57,000 the previous week, according to the official report, while the number of patients with the virus in intensive care fell across the country. Since the start of the pandemic, Finland has recorded 470,665 confirmed cases and 1,973 deaths. ACP/