President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse, Jenni Haukio, greet guests at the Independence Day reception in the Presidential Palace on December 6, 2019. Photograph: Antti Nikkanen/The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

The traditional Finland’s Independence Day reception at the Presidential Palace has been canceled for the second year in a row.

“Due to the combined impact of the deteriorating situation with Covid in recent days and the Covid-19 passport regulations, we have unfortunately had to cancel the reception at the Presidential Palace on December 6, 2021,” the president’s office noted in a statement.

President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio were to invite people who have worked for the good of health and Finnish society during the coronavirus pandemic. The total number of invited guests was nearly 200.

Those invited to the Independence Day Reception this year will receive an invitation to the next year’s reception. “A separate event for veterans and members of the Lotta Svärd will be arranged when the pandemic situation permits. Personal letters of apology will also be sent to all those who were invited to this year’s events,” the office noted.

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