THL: Suspension of passenger flights no longer necessary but we must continue to effectively prevent the spread of virus variants

Publication date 25 Jan 2021

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) estimates that it is no longer necessary to suspend passenger flights from the UK, South Africa and Ireland. Passenger flights from these countries are suspended until Monday 25 January by the decision of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The aim is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants to Finland.

In its recent opinion to Traficom, THL states that suspension of passenger flights is no longer necessary because airports now have sufficient resources for preventing the virus variants. 

“Suspension of passenger flights is not a restriction measure but an emergency measure that was introduced to give airports time to prepare for the prevention of the virus variants. According to the current estimate, the measures are now sufficient and passengers from these countries can be directed to a test or quarantine”, says Mika Salminen, Director of THL.

“At the same time, we must emphasise that it is important to introduce new preventive measures that THL has recommended to airlines”, he continues.

At airports, authorities direct passengers arriving via different routes from the UK, Ireland or South Africa to a health examination referred to in the Communicable Diseases Act and, based on the health examination, to a 14-day quarantine. 

So far, 86 cases caused by the new variants have been discovered in Finland. The majority of the cases have been detected on passengers who travelled from the UK or South Africa to Finland and their loved ones.

THL also strongly recommends that airlines require all passengers travelling to Finland from abroad to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate before boarding.

Further information:

Mika Salminen
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
[email protected]

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