Sunshine Coast Some Finns who spend their winters on the Sunshine Coast have been waiting for a coroner vaccine – Vesa Uusi-Kilponen and his wife plan to hop on a plane as soon as they have both been vaccinated

Before the pandemic started, an estimated 25,000–30,000 Finns stayed on the Sunshine Coast, says Consul Eeva Helminen from the Embassy of Finland in Madrid.

Espoo resident Kauko Pyyskänen has spent his wife Anita Pyyskänen with winters for 21 years on the Spanish Sunshine Coast, where they have an apartment. Usually, the couple head south as early as the beginning of October, but this time the departure was finally postponed until the second week of March.

“We moved flights twice. We had to come already on February 6, but the situation was problematic due to the corona situation, ”says Kauko Pyyskänen.

Initially, the Pyyskäset postponed their flight to the last week of February, but ended up postponing the departure again until March 10th. The flight transfer eventually came to the couple’s happiness, as they had time to get the vaccine before departure.

”4. day [maaliskuuta] we received the vaccine in Leppävaara, Espoo, and we came here last Wednesday, ”says Pyyskänen.

According to Pyyskänen, they were to take the vaccine as soon as it was available.

Thousands Finns usually spend their winters on the Sunshine Coast. This year, however, their numbers have been lower due to the corona pandemic, with some canceling their trips and some waiting to be vaccinated.

Before the pandemic started, an estimated 25,000–30,000 Finns stayed on the Costa del Sol, says the consul Eeva Helminen From the Embassy of Finland in Madrid.

Currently, the figure is lower, according to Helminen. It is difficult to estimate the exact amount, because not everyone remembers to make a travel declaration or cancel it after returning to Finland.

“The figures are based on feel, as we don’t get any statistics. A very large proportion of those wintering on the Sunshine Coast have not registered here, but keep books in Finland, ”says Helminen.

Founder of the Spanish Association of Finnish Entrepreneurs Kari Tiihonen has spent the entire pandemic time on the Sunshine Coast, except for a short summer visit to Finland. However, many have come to a different solution.

“There are quite a few winter residents who didn’t come and those who left when Lockdown started, ”says Tiihonen.

“But yes, there are quite a few people here. It cannot be said that the whole coast has been emptied. ”

Chairman of Asociación Finlandesa Suomela, the Finnish Association of the Sunshine Coast Kirsi Oras estimates that less than half of those who usually spend their winters on the Costa del Sol have traveled to Spain this winter.

According to Oras, however, the number of Finns in the region started to rise as early as the beginning of February.

“Every week there are familiar and old customers,” says Oras, which runs a real estate company on the Sunshine Coast.

Rauma resident Vesa Uusi-Kilponen and his Marketta-wives are likely to leave for the Costa del Sol in the coming weeks. Normally, a couple traveling to Spain in October has decided to wait in Finland until both have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Winter is the first in 15 years that Vesa Uusi-Kilponen has spent in its entirety in Finland.

“One of the reasons for staying in Finland was that the situation is difficult when there is no vaccination. If you are in Spain and get sick there, it is quite difficult to get to Finland, ”says Uusi-Kilponen.

His wife has already been vaccinated, but Uusi-Kilponen is still waiting for his turn.

“Yes, with one vaccination, you can already leave. In a month or two there could be under it. The second dose will be given after 12 weeks. I don’t want to leave without a vaccine when it’s not absolutely necessary, ”says Uusi-Kilponen.

Uusi-Kilposten’s goal is to leave for Spain as soon as possible. The couple has a house on the Costa del Sol, which is taken care of by a couple of acquaintances currently living in Spain. Uusi-Kilponen is also involved in restaurant operations on the Sunshine Coast.

“I would expect to have a chance in a couple of weeks [rokote]. Yes, we will go again in the spring. ”

To Spain Kauko Pyyskänen, who has already had time, normally plays theater there, but at the moment the hobby is on hiatus due to the corona. His second hobby, golf, he is currently able to practice – although the large Finnish golf team has shrunk slightly this winter.

According to Pyyskänen, there is a calm atmosphere on the Costa del Sol in terms of the corona situation.

“At least I don’t feel it’s safer than in Finland.”

The incidence rate of the coronavirus on the Costa del Sol is close to the domestic figures. According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, the 14-day incidence rate on 16 March was less than 145 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, while the Finnish incidence on the same day was about 140 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

The contagion situation on the Sunshine Coast is slightly more serious than in Spain as a whole. The incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the whole country is currently only 107. However, the situation in the region is considerably better than in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital districts, where there are almost 345 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants.

The epidemic situation in Spain is currently clearly improving.

“The trend has been down for several weeks. The incidence rate for the whole country is lower than in Finland, ”says Embassy Helminen.

At the moment You can travel to Finland from Spain, but travelers from Uusimaa and Åland need a recent certificate of a negative coronavirus test.

The Spanish authorities have stated that those who are temporarily in the country can also receive an coroner vaccine, says Helminen at the embassy.

“Permanent residents in Spain are included in the vaccination plan as long as they have registered here. But the Spanish authorities have assured that everyone here will be vaccinated, ”says Helminen.

“However, they need to be active themselves and be connected to the nearest health center in the place of residence.”

Maija Hertz-Baumann and Olai Baumann.­

In Klaukkala an entrepreneur spending summers and winters on the Sunshine Coast Maija Hertz-Baumann and her husband Olai Baumann did not hesitate to wait for vaccinations, but traveled to Spain in early January.

“We were a little left in the fall waiting for what to be done. However, the decision to leave here matured quite quickly, ”says Hertz-Baumann.

According to Hertz-Baumann, leaving before receiving the vaccines caused controversy. However, although the couple is of retirement age, neither of them is old enough to be at the top of the vaccination schedule.

“I said back in December that we would be back in Finland before our turn,” laughs Hertz-Baumann.

The couple plans to return to Finland in May and wait for the vaccine to be taken until then. They have found out about vaccination schedules in Spain. Because they do not live permanently in the country, schedules are still uncertain.

The couple have their own apartment in the village of Mijas and spend their time outdoors and golfing.

According to Hertz-Baumann, living in Mijas does not seem safer than in Finland, especially when there is a strict mask obligation outside Spain and movement within the country is restricted.

The couple has been pleased with their decision to leave.

“If you have your own apartment or rental apartment, it’s just like being at home,” says Hertz-Baumann.

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