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The building association is applying for Covid testing for foreign workers

The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries (RT) recommends that its member companies require a negative coronavirus test result for every employee arriving from outside the country.

The group says it expects members to follow the instructions. These include major construction contractors such as YIT, Skanska, NCC, SRV and Peab. The main union of construction workers asked for such testing last week.

The transition is a response to a more contagious virus strain that was first detected in England and which, among other things, may have been brought to Finland by Estonian workers.

"We want to help increase the health safety of foreign workers. In this way, we can combat the epidemic and improve safety on construction sites," RT Director Aleksi Randell said.

Iltalehti announced on Thursday at the construction site of the latest Covid-19 infection group. At least four builders, some of whom are foreigners, got a positive result while working on the renovation of the Finnish Medical Association’s head office in Helsinki.

The Department of Health and Welfare (THL) ordered the site to close until January 21st. All 100 employees have been quarantined for 10 days.

Union: Employers must pay an invoice for quarantine

Last week, the Finnish Construction Trade Union also demanded that all employees entering Finland be tested and subject to mandatory quarantine to cover the costs of quarantine by employers.

The trade union estimates that there are about 20,000 foreign builders working in Finland. The largest group is from neighboring Estonia, where the Covid-19 situation is significantly worse than here.

Very few construction workers arriving on board ships from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, have so far undergone a voluntary coronavirus test, says the chairman of the union Matti Harjuniemi.

"A positive test would cut their pay; therefore they avoid them," he told Yle. "Above all, however, we must give priority to health now so that we can keep the websites up and running."

RT, for its part, says it is easier and faster for visiting workers to test when they arrive in the country’s ports.

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