A passenger ferry from Estonia arrives in Helsinki in March this year (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

THE MINISTRY FOR SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH has announced that coronavirus testing points will be rolled out at ports across Finland, with the intention of boosting testing capacity for arrivals from high-risk countries in particular.

While it is not yet clear exactly how extensive the coronavirus screening measures will be at Finland's ports, it is known that testing sites are planned to be rolled in Helsinki's main ports imminently. At busy periods, thousands of passengers can disembark from a single port at one time, raising questions of how authorities will be able to effectively screen and test large numbers of passengers, given Finland's limited testing capacity. 

The head of the Finnish Border Guard, Tuomas Laosmaa, told YLE today that such a system would have to prioritize ship passengers arriving from higher-risk countries, explaining that all ferry passengers arriving from Sweden, for example, would be considered high risk and would be required to undergo testing. 

The plans come shortly after it was announced that all international arrivals into Finland from high-risk countries will be forced to undergo a mandatory quarantine period or face a fine, or up to three months imprisonment. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva