Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens) spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 7 April 2020. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)


THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT decided in its extraordinary session this morning that the restrictions on cross-border travel will remain in place until 13 May, tells Maria Ohisalo (Greens), the Minister of the Interior.

Ohisalo on Tuesday said it is pivotal to safeguard not only elderly and other people vulnerable to the new coronavirus but also the critical care capacity, which is limited especially in northern parts of Finland.

“The restrictions have had an impact, and now we’ll keep them in place,” she said, revealing that cross-border travel has decreased to the extent that 80–90 per cent of it is currently cargo transport.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), she added, is similarly in favour of upholding the restrictions.

The Finnish government is also intent on continuing to reduce travel across the border to Norway and Sweden. Employees will henceforth be allowed to cross the border only for essential work-related travel and required to provide an employer-issued document of the essential nature of their work.

Ohisalo said employers should strive to arrange work in a way that reduces travel across the border by, for example, offering employees accommodation in the same locality as the workplace.

The rule of thumb is that everyone arriving in the country is required to follow the instructions of health care authorities and stay in quarantine-like conditions after arrival. The requirement does not apply to emergency and rescue personnel, as well as employees responsible for cargo transports.

The Finnish government is also recommending that all shipping companies suspend the sales of tickets to passengers travelling to Finland from Germany, Estonia and Sweden between 11 April and 13 May. The recommendation does not apply to cargo transport.

The government is also recommending that shipping companies operating passenger ferries to Finland from Estonia, Sweden and Germany halt ticket sales for ships departing on 11 April or later. The recommendation will be in effect until 13 May.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi