The borders of Uusimaa region will close, according to the government’s decision on Wednesday, March 25. The borders will remain closed until April 19.
According to Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP), it is necessary to isolate the Uusimaa region from the rest of the country because that’s where the coronavirus pandemic is more widespread.
After the parliament’s approval (likely on March 27), traveling over the borders of the Uusimaa region will be observed by the police and when necessary by the Finnish Defense Forces. Traveling for work will be allowed. (In addition, movement is not restricted if there are compelling personal reasons such as the right of access to a child or the death of a family member.)
Restrictions on people’s movement do not apply if the movement is necessary for
- official activities
- travel for work, whether as an employee or as an entrepreneur or self-employed person, for studies or in connection with a societal position of trust
- the performance of military service or any other statutory obligation, or
- the need for care, risk of death or death of a family member, the right of access to a child, or for any other similar compelling personal reason.
The police may impose a fine for violating or failing to comply with the restrictions.
According to Marin, everyone has the right to return to their home or place of residence, but recreational travel is not allowed. The flow of goods will not be prevented even during the new restrictions. Furthermore, the restrictions do not apply to movement within Uusimaa.
“People who are at their cottages right now, I would recommend coming home if you live in the Uusimaa region,” Prime Minister Marin said.
It was initially speculated that the government would be able to close the restaurants, cafeterias, bars and nightclubs already on Saturday, but according to Marin, the government is unable to bring the restrictions into effect by then. “Nevertheless, I am sincerely requesting that the venues will close their doors already now,” Prime Minister Marin said.