United States, and especially the state of Florida, has been preparing for Spring Break for the past couple of weeks. New precautions have been put into place to keep everyone safe during this busy spring season. Because the spring breaks around the US are tiered, the spring touris season in Florida has expanded as well. The first spring breakers were seen in Florida beaches already in the beginning of February and the season has been estimated to last atleast until April (perhaps even longer).
Many people must feel tired of the whole COVID-19 situation and are looking for a break. Florida is not called the Sunny state for nothing, and many businesses and restaurants have stayed open majority of the time during the pandemic. Florida has always been a popular Spring Break vacation location, however, this year, the numbers of tourists are expected to increase even further. The Florida police is preparing and they have mentioned that no one is to have a vacation during this busy season.
Surely Finland is watching actively what is happening globally with the pandemic. And perhaps everything going on in Florida during the past couple of weeks got Finland to think about the tighter restrictions.
It is known that spring and Easter time is popular time to travel to Finland’s Lapland. The Finnish Spring break, called the skiing break, is in full swing and yes, Easter is around the corner as well. This year has been amazing in Finland as well with the amount of snow, so many must be waiting to get cross country and downhill skiing in Lapland.
The new restrictions in Finland are set into motion starting March 8th and will last for 3 weeks.
March 8th, which is also the International women’s day, is the first day of the new restrictions in Finland. Majority of Finland will be shut down, including restaurants, bars, public saunas etc. (full list here). Many restaurants have already closed their doors and businesses are advised to do the same prior to the actual “lockdown” date.
According to an article published in Yle the Covid infections have been rising in Finland and are nearly in the same numbers compared to last year. New law was passed this week as well, giving the counties more power to manage the infection situation in the local level. Previously they have had the right to close for example libraries and museums, and now, they have the right to limit private businesses as well. The shut down in Finland will last for at least three weeks, and according to Sanna Marin, this will require the approval of the Finnish Parliament and hence will be approved earliest on March 8th.
If you do have a skiing trip planned in Lapland, it might look a lot different than in previous years. Although, the skiing resorts will not be closed. The restaurants and stores, besides the grocery stores will be closed. Restaurants can offer take-away options to the tourists, but will not be allowed to seat anyone. Many businesses are most likely trying to think how to adjust to the new rules during one of the busiest tourist seasons in Lapland.
Finland is emphasizing that this shut down is to get the situation under control and help in preventing the spread of the virus. Good thing for Lapland is that there are many miles of hills to go downhill skiing and plenty of space for skiing tracks where it is naturally easier to keep distance to other tourists. And of course, if you are a Finnish citizen, you will always have the right to travel to Finland.
Even though the restrictions have not yet been set into motion, it doesn’t mean that people should go out to restaurants and bars while they still can. This can increase the possibility of spreading the virus greatly. It is understandable that people are getting tired of the situation; however, we need to find strength to keep on going for a little longer until this pandemic is under control. Hope you all have a lovely spring break; no matter if you end up traveling to Finland to ski, sunbathe at Florida beach, or staying at home.