Bars in Finland will be forced to close at 9:00 pm on Christmas Eve as part of new restrictions designed to fight record Covid infection levels, the prime minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking after negotiations with her coalition partners, Prime Minister Sanna Marin laid out further controls on hospitality opening hours and alcohol sales for a three-week period starting December 28.
"We must take this situation seriously and react accordingly," Marin said, on the day that health chiefs announced over 23,000 new coronavirus infections in the past two weeks, an all-time record in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million people.
The government will begin preparing a support package to compensate hospitality businesses affected by the restrictions, Marin said.
EU citizens arriving at the Finnish border will be required to show a negative Covid test under the new rules, while universities will be advised to move to distance teaching.
Despite record infection levels in recent weeks, Finland has maintained some of Europe's lowest incidence rates throughout the pandemic.
Health authorities have registered a total of 221,292 infections and 1,495 Covid-related deaths, equating to one of the lowest fatality rates on the continent.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)