Sport has many times been kicked heavily in the head in various societal decisions.
In the Corona era, however, sports have been downright privileged.
Read more: The ban on international tourism will affect the employment of 1,350 people in Lapland companies
Despite the closed borders and strict travel restrictions, the internationally strong Paavo Nurmi Athletics Games and the Swedish match have been held in Finland, matches have been played in the Nations League for football and the women's European Championship qualifiers, men's European Championship qualifiers in handball, KHL matches in hockey at least cross-country ski team.
And there are also the World Cups for alpine skiing (Kittilä), Nordic skiing (Kuusamo) and biathlon (Kontiolahti), all of which have plenty of international guests from all over the world.
There are not many additions to the ski lifts. Photo: Antti Hämäläinen / IS
At the same time, Lapland's tourism entrepreneurs spend sleepless nights and earnestly think about ways to survive when ordinary tourists are not allowed to travel: hotels fall deserted, ski lifts squat empty and flocks of huskies demand their daily rations without the entrepreneur earning anything.
Traveling in sports is allowed in the so-called.
with a bubble.
Athletes and background people are only in their own hotel and training or gaming venues, not anywhere else.
All contacts to outsiders are kept to a minimum.
It hasn’t always even bothered, even though the bubble has leaked at times.
For example, Neftehimik Nizhnekamski's KHL team played in Helsinki in September, partly ill or at least exposed, and the Jokerit has also brought the corona as gifts from their guest trips to Russia.
And most recently, out of a group of 52 Ukrainian athletes who came to Vuokatti to train, seven coronavirus infections were revealed.
Sports bubbles have still remained strong.
Among others, SKA in St. Petersburg and many other Russian teams have been able to play hockey from Russia to Helsinki.
The Jokers' KHL bubble is held upright, although the Jokers have brought a crown with them from their own game trips. Photo: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva
Already in the summer, Lapland's tourism entrepreneurs presented a similar travel bubble idea, in which foreign tourist groups could be brought - just like sports teams - healthily for 1-3-day visits to Finland.
The holiday would have taken place with a recent negative corona test, and the plans were clear on how the groups would be accommodated, catered and transported for various adventure trips without close contact with the locals.
Plans still exist ready for deployment, albeit immediately.
Lapland's tourism entrepreneurs are genuinely very strange and also very irritated that no value was given to their plans.
And at the same time, a similar arrangement has been made successful in sports without further ado.
Only Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (center) has been in favor of the idea in the Board, but he has been left completely alone with his opinions.
Read more: British organizer canceled all his flights to Lapland - Minister of Economic Affairs Lintilä: “Delay in government proposal cut off camel's back”
Entrepreneurs believe that after a negative coronavirus test taken 1–3 days old in the country of origin, there would be only a minimal chance that tourists would come to Finland with a corona.
Not even the factual part of the infection statistics has helped: coronavirus infections have been practically not detected at all in airplanes or other public transport, food restaurants or outdoor activities such as skiing, downhill skiing or snowmobile or husky rides, especially for tourists in Lapland.
A husky safari in the open air has only a very low probability of getting a coronavirus infection.
Pictured are French tourists leaving for a safari in Rovaniemi in March 2015.Photo: Anssi Jokiranta
Yet the government has been steadfast in its decisions.
The country’s borders have remained closed to tourists, although foreign athletes and sports teams are allowed to enter the country.
Tourism entrepreneurs calculate that missing the winter season will cause at least 5,000 unemployment in Lapland, and Lapland will lose about 700 million euros in tourism revenue.
In Lapland, a new three-letter curse word has been obtained for the coronavirus: STM.
Entrepreneurs are of the opinion that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is grossly interfering in the freedom to conduct a business and that the tourism industry is being driven down completely.
There would have been newcomers to Lapland now in December as well.
However, the big British tour operator TUI eventually got tired of the government chasing and dragging and canceled all its trips to Lapland for the rest of the year.
During the normal season, several charters would have flown to Lapland every day.
Even if the number had been lower this year, Lapland's tourism entrepreneurs would have been worth a slice of one-day trips costing about 600 euros.
Entrepreneurs believe that the accusing finger is pointing to Krista Kiuruu (sd), Minister of Family and Basic Services, under whose leadership STM has not been able to find simple and functional solutions to make tourism possible.
The Lapland district of the center had time to demand the resignation of Kiuru on Sunday.
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (center) and Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) have been on completely different lines about opening up Lapland tourism to foreign tourists. Photo: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva
In Lapland, it is also annoying that when the closure of UPM's Kaipola paper mill in Jämsä or the closure of Neste's refinery in Naantali was announced in the autumn, several key ministers visited to “share comfort” and talk about support measures.
No ministers have been seen in Lapland, although the unemployment volume concerns ten categories of paper mills or refineries.
But what about the 5,000 unemployed or the lost income of 700 million euros - Finland was allowed to take the pot from Sweden in the athletics match and collapse against Denmark in the European Handball Championship qualifiers.