YLE: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health wants to keep the travel rules until the end of the year

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will hold a press conference on Friday for hospital districts, tourism organizations and other stakeholders, which may shed light on their position on the restrictions.

Visitors to Finland must currently present proof of complete coronavirus vaccination or recovery from coronavirus disease in the last six months. Visitors who do not have such a certificate can enter by testing the negativity of the virus in advance, either in their country of origin or on arrival, and taking a new test within 3-5 days of arrival.

Decisions on this issue are eagerly awaited, especially in the Lapland tourism industry.

“The tourism industry is very concerned about this development. As the world opens up, we will continue to impose restrictions in line with the current plan. Visitor flows have been low for some time and it has not been possible to set up a tourism business. ” Sanna Kärkkäinen, The CEO of Visit Rovaniemi told YLE on Thursday.

He said that Rovaniemi is currently expecting about 40,000 foreign visitors in December. Markku BroasThe Chief Physician of Infectious Diseases of the Lapland Hospital District has estimated that about 20 percent of them may not have been vaccinated, which means that they must be tested in Finland by the fifth day at the latest.

“It would be almost 10,000 people. It would be impossible for the testing capacity of the city of Rovaniemi,” Kärkkäinen said.

According to YLE, the pandemic is easing its grip, but positive signs are still visible. Accommodation bookings are coming at a relatively stable pace, and in addition to scheduled flights, hundreds of charter flights are expected to bring visitors to Rovaniemi.

– We have been able to compensate for the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic quite well, and demand is currently high. We have about 70 percent of the bookings we had in the record year of 2019, ”Kärkkäinen said.

However, he recalled that in order to convert reservations into a visit, it is important to ensure that travel procedures are smooth, especially when the number of foreign visitors is expected to peak in December.

“This is an extremely bad and critical message for the upcoming winter season in Lapland and Rovaniemi,” he commented on the possibility of continuing travel restrictions.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page


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