Borders THL proposes to relax entry-related corona restrictions, would no longer require a second border test

THL would like to get rid of the second corona test at the borders. According to it, the effort and cost it incurs can no longer be considered proportionate.

Health and the Department of Welfare (THL) allows entry-related interest rate restrictions to be relaxed.

“THL’s assessment is that in the absence of new virus variants circumventing vaccination protection, there is no need to extend the current temporary provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act to their current extent,” THL writes in a statement to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM).

These are Articles 16a to 16g. They define the requirement for an corona passport at the borders and under what other conditions.

Read here how to regulate entry due to a corona pandemic.

Ministry is currently preparing a continuation of the corona law sections of the Communicable Diseases Act. They are due to be submitted to Parliament for a decision this week. THL’s view differs from that of STM and also widely of the government.

In practice, the government has already decided to extend the articles. At the borders, the controversy is whether a second test should still be required of people who enter the country without a corona certificate.

Prime minister Sanna Marin (sd) said after government talks that the sections of the Communicable Diseases Act be extended.

Read more: Prime Minister Marin at the Estates House: The current restrictive measures will be maintained, and the use of the corona passport will be expanded

THL’s statement may complicate the government’s decision to submit the bill to Parliament.

However, according to THL, the Infectious Diseases Act could provide for an emergency brake mechanism for new virus variants that circumvent vaccination protection.

“The emergency brake mechanism could quickly stop passenger traffic completely and introduce mandatory testing for all passengers at points of entry to detect new viral variants and slow their spread to the country,” says THL.

THL considers that, in this epidemic situation, there is no longer a need for a separate second test at the borders based on the protection of human life and health.

According to THL, through the second test, there is no longer such a small number of infections among those who have arrived in Finland that they have no real significance for the direction of the epidemic in Finland.

“Instead, the requirement for a separate 2nd test (even at the risk of penalties) imposes both inconveniences and costs on some passengers that can no longer be considered proportionate and hampers the recovery of the tourism industry without justifiable justification for the test,” THL argues.

THL says that THL’s calculations justifying the second test are outdated and no longer valid. The department requests that the calculations be removed from the explanatory memorandum to the draft law.

THL STM justifies its approach, which differs from STM ‘s view, by the fact that the health security measures taken at the points of entry have not been and cannot continue to completely prevent the spread of the coronavirus and its various variants to Finland.

According to the institution, only the complete closure of the country’s borders from passenger traffic could, in theory, prevent the spread of the coronavirus with passengers to the country. In that case, it should be implemented in a timely and complete manner.

THL says that if the temporary clauses are extended, it should be added to the law that people who have contracted covid-19 and received one vaccination will be equated with people who have received a full marketing authorization series.

“Studies from Finland and elsewhere show that one dose of the vaccine provides at least as good protection for a person with coronary heart disease as two doses for a person who has not had the disease,” THL argues.

THL also does not consider individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V to be at risk for worsening of the coronavirus epidemic in Finland.

THL does not recommend the administration of mRNA vaccines to individuals who already have a complete set of vaccines obtained with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

THL considers that all such vaccination certificates, the authenticity of which can be verified through the EU corona certification system, should be accepted at the time of entry, regardless of whether the vaccine is EMA approved or on the WHO Emergency Use List.

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