Finns to end virus restrictions next month

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin says the country will end all COVID-19 restrictions next month

ByThe Associated Press
January 31, 2022, 7:38 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Finland will end all COVID-19 restrictions next month, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Monday.

Marin said her Social Democratic-led government would negotiate with the other parties in parliament the timetable for the removal of the restrictions.

At the same time, border controls at the internal borders between Finland and the other Schengen countries end Monday. That restriction was introduced at the end of December to slow down the spread of the omicron variant. Travelers coming from outside the EU will continue to meet border controls at least until Feb. 14. February, Finnish broadcaster YLE said.

In neighboring Denmark, restrictions were to be scrapped Tuesday, including allowing Danes to enjoy free access to restaurants, cafes, museums and nightclubs, while mask use will cease to be mandatory.

The restrictions were originally introduced in July but were removed about 10 weeks later after a successful vaccination drive. They were reintroduced when infections soared.

Sweden said last week it will extend its own measures for another fortnight, with Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren saying the country, which had previously stood out among European nations for its comparatively hands-off pandemic response, has “an extremely record high spread of infection.”

Sweden has ordered cafes, bars and restaurants to close at 11 p.m., and urged people to work from home when possible.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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