The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has reported 29 new cases of the mutated coronavirus variant, which add to the 20 previous cases. In total, there are 49 cases diagnosed.
According to a press release by THL, 18 of the cases were found from people arriving in Finland since 20 December. The patients came from United Kingdom, Ghana, Sweden, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Turkey and Estonia.
Eight of the samples came from close contacts of infected persons previously diagnosed. The source of three infections is still being investigated. At least 55 potentially infected persons have been placed in quarantine.
Of all diagnosed cases caused by the mutated coronavirus variant, 47 are of the mutated virus type detected in Britain and two are of the virus type detected in South Africa. 28 of the new cases diagnosed now are of the British variant and one is of the South African variant.
On Tuesday, THL reported 5 more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total dead toll to 602.
Travel to UK, South Africa, Ireland
THL recommends Finnish residents to avoid traveling to the United Kingdom, South Africa and Ireland from the time being.
Based on the statement of the Finnish health agency, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency has also suspended all passenger air traffic from the UK, Ireland and South Africa to Finland until 18 January 2021.
THL recommends that all visitors to these countries who are travelling to Finland via different routes be tested twice upon arrival. Persons arriving in Finland are given instructions to avoid contact with persons outside their immediate family and eliminate the risk of infecting others until both test results are ready.
"If there is no other way of ensuring a person will not infect others, they may be placed in quarantine until two negative test results prove they are not infected with coronavirus," THL says.
In addition, THL recommends expanding testing at border stations.