Sunday 9/27/20
CORONAVIRUS

Finland will require negative tests from tourists before traveling

The amendment will be part of a new legislative package to ensure health on airplanes, ships, buses and trains.
A view of Helsinki's central station, with the stone men who guard the entrace equipped with face masks. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
A view of Helsinki's central station, with the stone men who guard the entrace equipped with face masks. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is preparing an urgent amendment to the Transportation Services Act to oblige transport providers to require from passengers a certificate of a negative coronavirus test before travelling to Finland.

The Government explained in a press release that said legal reform will be part of a new legislative package to ensure health safety on international routes for planes, ships, buses and trains, as well as in airport terminals and stations. In addition, an amendment to the Infectious Diseases Act is being prepared in relation to the transport sector.

"It has become clear that the powers of transport authorities need to be strengthened in order to ensure health safety in transport," says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

"In daily international traffic, the most effective thing would be to force the organizer of transport on flights, boats, buses and trains to verify that the tourist has a certificate or a negative test result," Harakka added.

This new requirement would not be applied to Finns or to foreign nationals with permanent residence in Finland.

For high-risk situations

The obligation to verify in advance that people infected by Covid-19 do not travel would be introduced in situations where health authorities have identified a high risk of spreading the disease. For example, in cases such as the recently suspended flights between Skopje (North Macedonia) and the Finnish city of Turku.

This proposed amendment will be sent for consultation on 7 September. It could be approved by the Parliament by the end of the month and enter into force in October.

If approved, it will be in effect temporarily and will expire on 31 December 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said.

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