In U-turn, Finland to recommend remote working after COVID-19 surge

by Reuters
Wednesday, 5 August 2020 14:13 GMT

HELSINKI, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Finland plans to reintroduce a recommendation to work from home whenever possible just days after dropping it, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, the minister in charge of managing the epidemic said on Wednesday.

Health authorities said earlier on Wednesday that 29 new cases had been recorded over 24 hours, raising the seven-day total to 98 from 52 in the previous seven days.

"The rise in infections gives reason to consider continuing remote working ...where it is possible," Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen wrote on Twitter, adding she had asked for official guidelines to be updated accordingly.

The recommendation in favour of remote working had ended at the end of July.

New infections remained very low throughout June and July, allowing Finns to enjoy their summer holiday season in relative security but prompting some to flout social distancing rules.

Finland's COVID-19 epidemic peaked in March and April but the quick introduction of containment measures including travel restrictions and the closure of schools and restaurants helped curb the number of infections.

Cases totalled 7,512, with 331 deaths, as of Wednesday.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; editing by John Stonestreet)

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