Almost all newcomers from high-risk countries are already being tested at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. THL recommends that testing be extended to all border stations in order to prevent and slow down the spread of virus variants in Finland.
In Helsinki and in Turku, it has been investigated how corona testing for those entering Finland via ports can be arranged.
Due to the worldwide spread of coronavirus variants, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends that all passengers from high-risk countries be tested at border stations upon arrival in Finland. Virtually all countries are now at risk of the coronavirus – including Sweden and Estonia, which have shipping traffic to Finland.
Testing is not required if the entrant has a negative test result within a maximum of three days of the test.
At Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, almost all entrants from high-risk countries are already being tested.
Read more: At Helsinki-Vantaa, the number of coronavirus tests doubled over the weekend, almost everyone agreed to the test
THL: n According to the report, a total of 49 cases of virus transformation have now been detected in Finland. They have also been found in passengers from Sweden and Estonia.
In Helsinki, testing plans are well under way. Director of Health and Substance Abuse Services of the City of Helsinki Leena Turpeisen according to which the testing will be carried out on ships coming from Tallinn. There will be several of them every day.
“Friday would be the first time our sote professionals would go and do the testing there. Over the weekend, we would have sote people on board all Estonian ships. The matter is now being discussed with the shipping companies, ”says Turpeinen.
According to Turpeinen, the airport and ports are different in terms of both their physical facilities and passenger profiles. According to him, testing at port terminals is difficult.
The fact that people enter the country through Helsinki-Vantaa, who have to remain in voluntary quarantine, raises the interest of air passengers in testing. With two negative tests, the quarantine time can be shortened.
On Tallinn ships newcomers are now mainly commuters. At present, according to THL, Sweden and Estonia can be used for regular work in Finland without quarantine and testing.
Helsinki’s sote services have tried testing at the port terminal and once on a ship on a couple of occasions. According to Turpeinen, only a few people applied for terminal tests, more for ship tests. Effortless ship testing is now hoped to attract commuters to the tests as well.
“While waiting for the trip to go, one could take the test. That’s the idea, ”says Turpeinen.
“Now let’s see how it goes. On Monday, we will know more and plan for the future. ”
To Turku four Swedish ships come daily. The ships have cruise passengers, arrivals from Åland and Sweden, of which only those arriving from Sweden are subject to testing. Testing arrangements are being clarified.
“There is a report on how this matter could be handled as sensibly as possible,” says an expert doctor from the City of Turku Jane Marttila says.
According to Marttila, testing of port passengers is challenging, as passengers come from the ship on many different routes, to two terminals and along two car lanes in the mornings and evenings.
According to Marttila, the most important thing is to find a smooth way of testing for car passengers, as they are the majority of Swedish newcomers. Most of them are from outside Turku: they leave to drive forward as soon as they leave the ship.
In autumn drive-in tests were tested outdoors in the port, but according to Marttila, the weather in winter is too cold for outdoor testing of the port.
“We turn a lot of attention to the Finentry system, through which we could direct motorists to existing drive-in sampling points, for example,” he says.
Finentry is an electronic system through which passengers can book a sampling time at their desired location as soon as they arrive in Finland. Its use is initially in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital districts. The system is expanding across the country.
“We’re wondering if we need to arrange an interim solution for as long as Finentry gets to work,” Marttila says.
He points out that all passengers already get THL in their hands instructions.