Coronavirus Government decides on new restrictions: Only necessary commuting at borders is allowed, restrictions take effect on Wednesday for 30 days

From next week, only essential commuting will be allowed. All those entering the country are to be tested and quarantined if necessary. At the beginning of next week, the government will also consider other restrictions within Finland.

Government decided on Friday that entry restrictions will be tightened in Finland. The new restrictions will take effect next Wednesday and will run until February 25th. Efforts are also being made to improve testing and quarantine management.

The blackmail was reported by the Minister of the Interior after several hours of government negotiations Maria Ohisalo (Green) and the Minister for Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) in the evening at a press conference.

From next week, only essential cross-border commuting, such as security of supply, will be allowed.

The Imatra border crossing point will be closed to passenger traffic. In Lapland, there may be changes in the opening hours of the western and northern border crossing points for passenger traffic.

To border communities the freedoms of the residents of the neighboring countries are abolished and the free right of the residents of the border municipalities to do business on the side of the neighboring country is abolished. The quarantine recommendation also returns to border crossings.

According to Kiuru, all those entering the country will henceforth be directed to the coronavirus test. “We need hundreds of people at the borders to test newcomers, and workers are also needed to help with testing,” Kiuru said.

For example, a test circuit of 1,100–1,200 people has been built at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Health and the THL chief physician of the Department of Welfare Taneli Puumalainen however, samples are not forced to be taken. If coronary infection is suspected, the physician in charge of infectious diseases may order the passenger to be quarantined.

Admittedly, Kiuru said that everyone who enters the country is subjected to voluntary quarantine, and this quarantine has now been extended to allow people to take it seriously.

THL announced earlier on Friday that quarantine for close contacts of those infected with the coronavirus will be extended from 10 days to 14 days. This is an official quarantine prescribed by an infectious disease doctor, from which you also receive an infectious disease daily allowance.

According to Kiuru, possible sanctions related to quarantines will be weighed at the beginning of next week, possibly already on Monday.

“This it is not easy when one could easily think that the disease situation in Finland is still tolerable. At the same time, leading experts have gone through a really big rally in outlining what should be done in this situation. This entity is now being weighed by the government, ”Kiuru said.

The changes decided on Friday aim to reduce cross-border traffic in order to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants and also allow all entrants to be tested.

From Wednesday, only the necessary commuting will be allowed at the internal borders. Internal border traffic means traffic between Finland and other countries belonging to the Schengen area.

Necessary considered significant work for the functioning of society and security of supply.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy maintains a list that identifies these jobs that are important for the functioning of society or security of supply.

However, even a critical job on the list does not automatically mean entering the country. The employer must justify on a separate form why the work task of the employee coming to Finland is critical and such that the work cannot tolerate the delay. In addition to other documents required for crossing the border, an employee intending to Finland presents the form at a border check.

The changes would not affect those working abroad in Finland. Instead, the quarantine and testing recommendations also apply to Finnish citizens working abroad.

Entry is still allowed, for example, for health and rescue professionals and elderly care staff.

Also, for example, freight transport and logistics personnel, diplomats, personnel of international organizations, soldiers and personnel of aid organizations are allowed to enter the country.

The entry of foreign nationals is also permitted for a necessary and justified reason. This group includes, for example, representatives of foreign media. You can also enter the country if there is real estate, an apartment or a holiday home in Finland, or if it is the arrival of a family member of a Finnish citizen living abroad.

Restrictions Schengen countries and certain other countries are allowed to enter a foreign national for family reasons. Kinship is considered to be spouses, children and parents, in-laws and grandparents. Instead, it is no longer possible for siblings or cousins ​​to come to meet on the basis of kinship.

Entry from other restricted third countries is only possible in compelling family matters, such as the birth of one’s own child, a serious illness of a relative or one’s own wedding.

It would still be possible for certain special groups to enter the country on application. They are, for example, actors in culture, sports or business. Applications for special groups are sent directly to the Border Guard by e-mail.

West North Even belonging to a border community such as Tornio and Haparanda is no longer a ground for entry. In practice, it only applies to non-Finnish citizens. Finnish citizens and residents of Finland can still cross the border under the Constitution.

Residents of border communities also no longer have the right to cross the border other than through border crossing points.

This change also applies to Finnish citizens who will henceforth have to cross the border through the border crossing points established in the decision.

This would give health authorities the fullest possible scope to target the necessary health measures at border crossings.

External border control the restrictions will continue to apply, with the decision of 7 January being extended until 25 February.

Head of the Border Inspection Unit of the Border Art Tuomas Laosmaa has calculated that the effect of the restrictions now decided on air and ferry traffic between Finland and Estonia may not exceed 75 per cent. At the Swedish border, the reduction would be 50%.

The government further recommends avoiding unnecessary travel abroad. According to the Constitution, a Finnish citizen and a person living in Finland always have the right to return to Finland, and everyone has the right to leave Finland if they wish, unless the right is restricted by law.

The person leaving for the trip should check the current entry and quarantine regulations of the destination country.

According to Ohisalo, border control will be tightened considerably now because, for example, children could live as normal a life as possible and schools could also be kept open.

Ohisalo thanked the citizens for their good compliance with the interest rate restrictions also at Christmas.

Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (left) and Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru at a government press conference on Friday.­

Government According to Kiuru, negotiations will continue on Monday on measures other than border issues. According to Kiuru, the intention is to update the hybrid strategy.

“We are at a turning point in the coronavirus epidemic,” Kiuru said. According to Kiuru, the health care system may already be in danger, as the situation has deteriorated considerably in many countries – including neighboring countries.

A total of 86 cases of corona caused by the modified virus strain have been detected in Finland. One of the largest cases was a person from Britain who did not comply with quarantine, which led to some 400 quarantine decisions.

It was precisely because of the transformation viruses that the Government convened at the Estates House on Friday for many hours and discussed mainly border traffic and travel safety, ie measures by which the government seeks to prevent the spread of new variants of the coronavirus in Finland.

Transformation viruses are more susceptible to old viruses. In Ireland, for example, the corona situation has deteriorated significantly with the transformations in January, although it was previously good.

At issue the negotiations also included an epidemiological picture and the completion of a hybrid strategy action plan.

“Now is the high time for us to take even tough action on this point,” Interior Minister Ohisalo said when he arrived at the Estate House on Friday.

Prime minister Sanna Marin (sd) said when he went to the Säätytalo meeting that the discussions were largely about the borders with Sweden, Estonia and Norway.

HS already said on Friday and on Thursday expected government action to intensify border controls to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The aim is to limit the number of passengers at both the Estonian and Swedish borders, and to allow only the commuting that is necessary and important, for example, for security of supply.

The goal is to test everyone and quarantine them if necessary.

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