THL’s Salminen: Some restaurants only use a Covid Pass when it’s convenient for them

Director of Health Security, Department of Health and Welfare (THL), Mika Salminen, has said he is dissatisfied with the selective use of the Covid Pass by several restaurants and bars.

A Covid Passport is a certificate that tells you if your holder has been fully vaccinated, recovered from the virus, or has recently had a negative test. Customer-centric businesses, such as restaurants and gyms, may require people to display their Covid status in order to bypass restrictions related to epidemics, which can restrict opening hours and alcohol sales, for example, and limit the number of customers allowed inside.

However, Salminen said some of the outlets operate in accordance with the restriction rules on weekdays and then require customers to show Covid tickets only on weekends.

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Mika SalminenPetteri Bülow / Yle

He added that the epidemic benefits of the system will diminish if establishments comply with the restrictions in the afternoon and then move to require a Covid passport at night.

"If the Covid Passport is used only at night, it will not add value. It should be either-or. The Covid Passport has not worked here as well as we hoped. It is used contrary to the idea behind it," Salminen said.

The Hospitality Lobby Manager disagrees

CEO of MaRa, a restaurant lobbying group, Timo LappiThe news group Uutissuomalainen, among others, published a negative response to Salminen’s criticism.

Lapland said that the offices have operated within the framework of the law and that the use of their Covid pass system has been agreed with the Regional State Administrative Agencies (Avi).

Timo Lappi
Timo LappiMikko Koski / General

Salminen said that when used correctly, Covid passports can significantly reduce the number of infections and the system could be a significant competitive advantage for bars, pubs and nightclubs.

"”It’s safe in our restaurant, we always use a Covid Passport.”" he said. "If this were done across the country, we would certainly have fewer diseases."

However, Lapland disagreed with this statement, saying that the use of Covid passports at certain times of the day did not exacerbate the epidemic and that the practice was logical.

Lapland said Salminen "either or" The passport proposals could have fatal consequences for the Covid passport system itself.

"If restaurants could operate without cards at all, it would significantly reduce their willingness to use them. It is quite clear" Lapland said.

Source: The Nordic Page





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