Finland is preparing to relax its strict travel restrictions that have left the country virtually isolated and with businesses such as tourism and air transport plummeting.
On Thursday night, several ministers said that as of 19 September, travel to Finland will be allowed for any reason, without the obligation of self-quarantine, from countries where the incidence of the virus is up to 25 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks.
Currently, the maximum limit allowed to travel freely is only 8 diagnosed cases per 100,000 inhabitants (exceptionally 10 cases, for certain countries), a requirement that only a dozen countries meet.
"In practice, this means that since next Saturday it will be possible to enter Finland from, for example, Sweden, Norway and Germany," Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Green League) said on Thursday evenging after the government meeting.
Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Green) told the press that Finland will however continue internal EU border controls until 22 November in order to complete implementation of its testing-based entry model and related legislative changes.
In practice, this means that from Saturday next week, it will be possible to travel to Finland from, for example, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
The Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, welcomed this change because will help Finnair and the tourism industry, as many businesses may reopen for the winter season.
The Government will give more details on Friday on how this new model will be applied.
European countries under 25/100,000:
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) publishes daily updates about the incidence of the Covid-19 across the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). On Friday morning, the center listed 12 countries with an incidence under 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.
- Slovakia (24.8)
- Bulgaria (24.1)
- Sweden (24)
- Norway (22)
- Estonia (21.8)
- Poland (21.4)
- Germany (21)
- Iceland (19.9)
- Lithuania (15.6)
- Liechtenstein (10.4).
- Latvia (4.3)
- Cyprus (2.8)
*Source: European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).