Dozens of seasonal berry pickers in Kainuu, Eastern Finland have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. According to health authorities in the region, 44 cases have been detected so far.
Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that several cases in Helsinki have been linked to travellers returning from Spain in July. According to Terhi Heinäsmäki, an infectious disease specialist at Aava Medical Center, 11 per cent of all COVID-19 infections detected in the city last week were traced to people who had travelled abroad.
Given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Finland, Estonia is tightening entry restrictions. From Monday onwards, travellers arriving in Estonia from Finland will need to provide proof that they have recovered from the virus, a negative test result or a vaccine certificate.
Dozens of COVID-19 cases among seasonal workers in Kainuu
According to health authorities in Kainuu, 44 out of 74 seasonal berry pickers working in the region have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Officials claim that the outbreak has been contained as social contact has been limited.
The infected workers, who were administered antigen-based rapid tests and will be screened again using the more reliable PCR tests, are currently being quarantined or isolated. The cluster of infections has reportedly not spread outside the area.
Numerous infections in Helsinki linked to international travel
Several dozens of travellers arriving in Finland from European countries, in particular Spain, have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
While detailed information is not yet available, Terhi Heinäsmäki, an infectious disease specialist at Aava Medical Center, told Iltalehti that most new cases are likely the Delta variant, which has spread rapidly in Europe.
Last week, 11 per cent of COVID-19 cases detected in Helsinki were traced abroad, with foreign countries being the city’s fourth most common source of infections.
Estonia introduces stricter travel entry rules for Finland
The recent rise in COVID-19 cases has prompted Estonia to change Finland’s travel status from “green” to “amber.” This means that from Monday onwards, anyone travelling from Finland to Estonia will have to provide proof of a negative test result or a vaccine certificate when entering the country.
Most cruise operators are not fazed by the development; however, as commuter traffic between the countries is already low and will likely remain unaffected by the new regulations.