Foto: Prime Minister's Office

Adoption of the Emergency Powers Act during the COVID-19 pandemic

Finland, together with the rest of the world, was faced with the spread of coronavirus causing an infectious disease (COVID-19) in the spring of 2020. The Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, stated that Finland is under emergency conditions due to the coronavirus epidemic and decided to adopt the powers laid out by the Emergency Powers Act on 13 March 2020.

In the spring of 2020, the Government issued several policies concerning restriction measures and issued Emergency Powers Act application decrees and implementing decrees as well as decrees to repeal them. On 15 June 2020, the Government issued a decree repealing the use of the powers of the Emergency Powers Act and stated that the current situation in the country no longer constituted a state of emergency, as laid down in Section 3 of the Act.

In the summer of 2020, the coronavirus situation improved. However, in the autumn, the situation worsened again and Finland entered the second wave of an outbreak of the infectious disease. In early 2021, the situation was stable at first but worsened at the end of February 2021, which forced the Government to re-introduce stricter measures. Therefore, the Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, declared again a state of emergency in Finland due to the coronavirus epidemic. The state of emergency entered into force on 1 March 2021 and the Emergency Powers Act was re-introduced.

On 27 April 2021, the Government issued a decree repealing the use of the powers of the Emergency Powers Act and stated that the current situation in the country no longer constituted a state of emergency, as laid down in Section 3 of the Act.

The currently valid Emergency Powers Act (1552/2011) was issued in 2011. The Emergency Powers Act is introduced by the Parliament deciding whether the implementation decrees issued by the Government can remain in force or will they be revoked.

This information package includes the Government’s introduction decisions concerning the Emergency Powers Act and their processing in the Parliament. Amendments to a couple of important laws, such as the Communicable Diseases Act, are also included. In addition, the package includes the Government’s coronavirus policies and resolutions between 2020 and 2021. Comparative legal material, articles, literature and coronavirus news supplement the package.


Content editing: Kristiina Hakala, March 2020, updated on 10.9.2021, email: firstname.lastname@eduskunta.fi

​Preparation before the parliamentary proceedings

The Government’s policies and decisions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Comparative legal material

Material concerning the use of crisis legislation in different countries during the coronavirus outbreak.

Literature and other material

Articles, literature, research material and other material.

Parliamentary proceedings concerning the introduction of the Emergency Powers Act

Implementation decrees and application decrees issued to the Parliament by the Government and other legislative initiatives.

The Emergency Powers Act and Communicable Diseases Act

The Emergency Powers Act (1552/2011) and the Communicable Diseases Act (1227/2016), including the amendments.

​​News coverage

News related to the use of the Emergency Powers Act and coronavirus pandemic measures.