Finland restricts travel from seven South African countries

Such people will not be admitted for reasons other than non-essential ones, such as family or personal reasons, even if they provide proof of full coronavirus vaccination. The entry ban does not entitle Finnish citizens or permanent residents, as according to the Constitution, citizens must not be prevented from entering the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week considered omicron a worrying variant and said some of the large number of mutations in the variant are worrying. “Preliminary evidence suggests that this variant increases the risk of infection compared to others [variants of concern]”, Se stated.

In Europe, variant infections have been reported in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The European Commission has called on Member States to suspend travel from South Africa.

Officials from the Department of Health and Welfare (THL) have recalled that it is still premature to say definitively how the version could affect the effectiveness of the vaccine and how contagious it is compared to previous variations.

“A combination of several mutations has been observed there, some of which have been seen before and some of which are new. We cannot know their effect until further research has been done. Mika Salminen, THL’s Director of Health Security, stated To MTV on Saturday.

“It won’t happen overnight or in a couple of weeks, but it will probably take months.”

Reuters on Sunday wrote that a South African doctor has said that patients who have received the variation have experienced “very mild” symptoms.

The Interior Ministry said on Sunday that the Border Guard will monitor incoming passenger traffic and keep the health authorities informed of developments. As there are no direct flights to Finland from the southern parts of Africa, the majority of passengers will board a flight to Finland in Frankfurt or Munich, says Helsingin Sanomat.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health considered press release that the variant may pose a serious threat to public health and well-being and worsen the epidemiological situation in Finland. It has instructed municipalities on the necessary measures at border crossing points, such as ports and airports, in cooperation with the regional administrations (AVIs).

Measures at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and other border crossing points were intensified on Saturday. A health check with a coronavirus test is mandatory for all travelers over the age of 6 arriving from parts of South Africa, regardless of whether they have any symptoms or have been vaccinated.

THL has also recommended that anyone who has entered the area in the last two weeks be tested and avoid contact with others until the test is negative. Their close contacts, in turn, are encouraged to be tested at the onset of even the mildest symptoms.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page





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