in Helsinki, children again allowed to sing “Happy Birthday”

Deprived of nursery rhymes and forced for months only to hum birthday songs, schoolchildren in Helsinki obtained the right on Monday to sing again at the top of their lungs, thanks to a relaxation of restrictions against the Covid.

If they can’t hold hands yet and still have to mark a social distance, “children can sing againยป, Declared Outi Salo, head of primary education in the Finnish capital.

Singing re-authorized at the end of the class

Since last winter, students in Helsinki had been instructed to only hum, with their lips closed, for their classmates. Music lessons took place without singing, after a warning from health authorities against the risk of the spread of Covid-19.

According to the new directives sent to school principals, singing now has its place in the classes again, but must take place at the end of the class. Classrooms must then be ventilated, and children over 12 must continue to wear a mask, according to the daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Opponents of the measure argued that neighboring municipalities allowed their schoolchildren to sing and that singing in Helsinki’s bars and karaoke clubs had been allowed since June. Finland has one of the lowest number of cases in Europe since the start of the pandemic, with a total of around 136,000 infections and 1,054 deaths for 5.5 million people.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced in early September that the last restrictions in force to fight Covid-19 would be lifted when 80% of those over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated, a bar that should be reached by October.

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