How Covid-19 tests will see Finland open to the United States, to all
A sign of the changes underway in Europe, Finland should be the next EU country to open up even to countries at high risk of Covid like the United States
The country is set to introduce mandatory testing rules in October, which means even those from land with much higher infection rates will be welcome.
Finland will soon “ease travel restrictions” and “implement a test-based program,” reports public broadcaster YLE.
“Travel to Finland will soon be possible from more countries, but mandatory coronavirus testing will likely be introduced,” he said. said.
The screening strategy is now confirmed by the government.
“The Finnish government decided on Thursday to reduce its restrictions on cross-border travel,” reports the Helsinki Hours.
Finnish quarantine rules relaxed – starting with Europeans
The rules are expected to go into effect from September 14. But not everyone will be welcome at the start.
Finns or foreigners arriving from Schengen countries with 25 cases or less per 100,000 people in the last fortnight are no longer subject to mandatory testing or quarantine.
Until now, quarantine has been mandatory for places with eight or more cases per 100,000 population. The government has also advised against all but essential travel to destinations with a higher Covid incidence than its own – ccurrently at 8.5 per 100,000.
This excluded tourism even to many relatively low-risk European neighbors, as well as high-risk red zones.
- With the latest move, travel will once again be possible to and from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. As it should be for many parts of Southeast Asia and Africa, as well as Australia, China and others according to the current European Center for Disease Prevention and Control The data.
- While travel to / from France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Czechia, Croatia, Netherlands, UK, US and Brazil is still out of the question. Although not for long.
Then testing will mean opening up to everyone
Finland will increase the Covid infection threshold by October, to allow visits around the world.
The plan relies on the introduction of new laws to respond to reports of a “test-based entry model”. Helsinki Hours.
For travelers from countries with Covid infection rates above 25 / 100,000, a negative test result will be required on arrival.
According to Reuters, travelers must then remain isolated until they produce a second negative test.
The United States, according to the ECDC, has on average more than 120 cases per 100,000, therefore well above the Finnish and European stallion.
Finns align with new EU tests and open borders
The EU encourages its members to open their borders with countries with no more than 25 to 50 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants.
For “red zones” above that level, he said, member countries should offer quarantine. And that seems to be exactly what Finland has in mind.
Tourism industry rejoices – at least most players
Finnish Transport Minister Timo Harakka said a bill will make proof of a negative corona test mandatory for passengers in red zones.
Most of the Baltic and Nordic countries should be exempted from the rule.
Economic Affairs Minister Mika Lintilä called this step great news for leisure and business travel, as well as for the tourism industry.
“I’m sorry it took so long, but better late than never,” he said. “Finnair will now return to the competitive market where it was with its European competitors. “
However, some tour operators are far from enthusiastic.
“Plane ticket 190 €, Covid test 210 €”, tweeted Lapland SantaPark entrepreneur, Ilkka Länkinen, who fears the prohibitive cost will hit winter tourism.
Yet many, including the Finnish government, believe that Covid testing is the only thing that will make the full reopening of the EU’s borders possible.
“The aim is to make tourism in Finland possible and safe for health,” said Harakka.
Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said internal controls at the Schengen borders will remain until testing laws are in place.
New tests allow EU borders to gradually open to everyone
Amid a marked return of the Covid to Europe over the past month, some are wondering if the borders have not opened too quickly.
Croatia, a member of the EU but not of Schengen, has officially welcomed Americans and others since early July. Testing requirements have tightened as corona cases have skyrocketed. Malta became the first EU and Schengen member to open to everyone in August.
Now it remains to be seen how many decide to take the Finnish direction, in order to also resuscitate part of the winter tourist season, after having gone through a gloomy Covid summer.