Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Friday that Finland will negotiate next week to ease travel restrictions.
ESTONIAN Rain Anni is leaving for his family in Estonia next Saturday for a long time.
Anni works in the construction industry in Finland. He is the team leader in the renovation team. The family needs to be reached for the party.
“My son gets out of high school and goes to college. You can’t miss such a family party, ”says Anni.
Many Estonian workers have had to be separated from their families during the corona epidemic due to Finland’s strict travel restrictions. Since the end of January, Finland has only allowed the necessary commuter traffic from the Schengen area.
In cross-border travel, those on lower incomes are currently at a disadvantage compared to the wealthier.
Commuter traffic between Finland and Estonia has been allowed since Monday – but only by air. Traveling by ship across the Gulf of Finland is still only allowed for tasks that are critical to society or on special grounds.
The Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas appealed to the Prime Minister of Finland in Helsingin Sanomat on Friday To Sanna Marini (sd) to exempt maritime traffic from travel restrictions.
Read more: Opinion: Estonians need to be able to meet their families
Read more: The Prime Minister of Estonia appeals to Sanna Marini in an open letter: “Due to travel restrictions in Finland, thousands of Estonians have to choose between family and work”
In Finland According to Statistics Finland, more than 50,000 Estonian citizens live there. According to estimates Up to about 20,000 employees from Estonia work in Finland.
Kallas wrote that Estonians are involved in building and cleaning Finland, taking care of Finland and investing in Finnish well-being.
Estonian MEPs made restrictions on Thursday complaint to the EU Commission.
Prime Minister Marin replied on Friday that Finland will consider opening commuter traffic next week.
Read more: Sanna Marin answers to the Prime Minister of Estonia: Finland will consider opening commuter traffic next week
Rain Anni is from Rakvere east of Tallinn. He is to return to Finland from Estonia before Midsummer. The current construction site, the pipeline renovation in Siltamäki, Helsinki, should be completed by the end of July.
Anni is even prepared to fly back to Finland if she cannot travel by ship.
“After all, this has nothing to do with rationality. I see no reason why Korona grabs when traveling by ship, but when you buy a plane ticket, suddenly Korona doesn’t grab. ”
He believes he can get back, because he is currently registered in Finland.
“It is a bit up to the employees of the Border Guard to interpret the matter, but I have a lease in Finland and I am on the population register, so I should now be a permanent resident of the country.”
An EU citizen can reside in Finland without a residence permit for three months. For this longer stay, you must apply for registration of the EU citizen’s right of residence.
Anni was able to visit Estonia earlier in the spring with the status of a permanent resident. It was enough to show the lease in the port and the result of the corona test.
“It is a miracle that when you are constantly enrolled, suddenly Korona doesn’t get caught. Many Estonians working in Finland are not able to transfer their books here, so they have a much more difficult situation. No one can be forced to come to this side to live permanently if the family lives in Estonia, ”says Anni.
He points an accusing finger at the Finnish state and the city of Helsinki. Adequate controls should be put in place in the port to allow travel.
“Organizing adequate control should be a problem for the state and the city, but now it’s pushed into the problem of ordinary people.”
Anni has worked in Finland for 16 years. He received the first coronary vaccine in the spring in Finland, and the second day of vaccination is in July. Getting a second vaccine is just one reason to come back.
“I have to get back to Finland. I can’t just call the boss that I can’t get to work when I can’t get on the ship – look for someone else to do the work. There is no one else, ”Anni emphasizes.
At Sol working as cleaning service supervisors Veronica Viiol and Helen Mäll have had to both experience and see the pain of Estonian workers side by side.
Viiol and Mäll have lived permanently in Finland for a long time. However, both still have family and relatives in Estonia. During the corona period, they have not been able to meet in the normal way.
“It has felt sad and miserable. My mother got sick and I couldn’t get there. When my second grandchild was born, I couldn’t even see her, ”Viiol says.
Last year, he also didn’t get to his uncle’s funeral.
Under normal circumstances, Viiol would visit Estonia on a monthly basis. The condition of elderly parents is a concern. Separation feels especially bad during the holidays.
“It’s going to be thought that hopefully it’s not the last Christmas.”
Last week, however, a quick weekend trip took place, when Viiol finally saw his grandson.
Mäll last visited Estonia in 2019. Parents can be contacted by video calls, but it is not possible with grandparents.
If the restrictions are lifted, Mäll will visit Estonia during the summer holidays in July.
Both Mäll and Viiol have considered strict travel restrictions necessary, but now they think they should be relaxed. At the time of the worst corona situation, they might not have dared to travel.
“I don’t want to be the person who takes the infection to grandparents,” Mäll says.
According to him, the separation from the family has caused loneliness for his Estonian subordinate. Viiol, on the other hand, says that one of his subordinates resigned in order to be able to spend time with his family in Estonia.
About fifteen Estonians work under Violi, most of whom live permanently in Estonia.
“For them, the situation is unfair. Everyone is waiting for the borders to open. ”