The government has gathered in the House of the Estates on Wednesday morning to, among others, negotiate about the restrictions related to COVID-19.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP). Picture: Laura Kotila / The Finnish Government

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) was hopeful of advancing the discussions to a point where decisions especially on the restrictions on banning events, such as summer festivals, could be made.

According to Marin, “it would be reasonable” to get the word out to event organizers as early as possible should there be a need ban summer festivals.

Marin stressed that the government will listen to the experts with a “sensitive ear” and base their decisions on expert opinions.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (the Green League) said that lifting restrictions on border control would not be likely.

“We still have Finns, these late-comers, arriving in Finland,” Haavisto said with a slight smile.

Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson (the SPP) said that the restrictions allowed under the Emergency Powers Act are hard on people’s individual rights. Therefore, it’s reasonable that any restrictions that limit one’s personal freedom should be among the first to be lifted.

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (the Green League) believed that there likely would not be a further need to issue decrees that could, for example, allow the police to act more forcefully during the upcoming May Day.

According to Ohisalo, the current Emergency Powers Act provides the police with the necessary tools to observe and interfere with people’s behavior should there a need to do so.

Ohisalo, however, stressed that in the end, it’s a personal obligation to act responsibly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government will hold a press conference in relation to their discussions that is scheduled to begin at 19:30 in the evening.

Source: Live feed of various media outlets.

Tony Öhberg