The coronavirus has killed 17 people so far in Finland, according to the hospital districts.

On Wednesday evening, 159 people are in hospital care. 62 require intensive care treatment.

The number of coronavirus infections that have been verified in the laboratory has risen to 1,446. The number is based on data gathered directly from different hospital districts by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL.

Extended restrictions and increased sampling

Earlier this week the government decided to extend the previously imposed restrictions to slow down the spread of coronavirus infections and to protect those at risk. The restrictions are extended by a month (originally until April 13) until May 13 and include, for example, the school shutdowns and the restrictions on early childhood education.

The restrictions on movement to and from the Uusimaa region entered into force on March 28 and will at least for now remain in force until April 19.

Teaching will continue to be organized in alternative ways, primarily through distance learning. The government still recommends that children in early childhood education and care, pre-primary education and in years one to three of comprehensive school education stay at home, if possible.

For the full list of measures against the coronavirus, see here.

Due to the pandemic, the government also decided to swiftly begin preparing tighter limits to traffic at the national borders in the north and west, and to terminate the carriage of passengers in sea transport, with the exception of goods and freight transport.

The government also decided to further increase sampling and testing in Finland to identify cases of coronavirus and to curb the pandemic. Healthcare and social welfare personnel must always be tested if there is even the slightest suspicion of illness.

Restaurants to close

On Tuesday, the government issued a decree restricting the operations of restaurants throughout the country.

All restaurants must be closed starting from Saturday, April 4, 2020. The restrictions will remain in force until the end of May.

The restrictions apply to all restaurant operations except for preparing food for take away and for delivery by food couriers.

The restrictions do not apply to canteens or restaurants that are essential for food supply such as canteens in schools, hospitals and similar establishments, or personnel restaurants that serve in-house personnel only.

Picture on the front page: Sergio Santos/