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Working group on essential work-related travel and other traffic appointed to assess the need for workers’ entry into country in the state of emergency

Ministry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of Transport and CommunicationsMinistry of the EnvironmentMinistry of the Interior 26.3.2020 10.26 | Published in English on 6.4.2020 at 10.06
Press release

On 25 March 2020, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment appointed a joint ministerial working group to assess the need for entry into the country of employees working in essential sectors in the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

On 17 March 2020, the Government decided to restrict cross-border traffic from 19 March to 13 April 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Only essential work-related travel and other necessary traffic to Finland is allowed. 

The purpose of setting up an intersectoral working group is to ensure that public health is given priority when deciding what constitutes essential travel and traffic. The task of the working group is to establish a common understanding of the public officials on what is considered essential work-related travel and necessary traffic from the security of supply perspective and, to a limited extent, for the functioning of the labour market, during a state of emergency. The working group will be chaired by Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The key principle in determining what is essential travel is that access to Finland is granted only for reasons deemed necessary for the security of supply. Continuous cooperation between the authorities is central to the working group’s activities. In its work, the working group takes into account the various preparedness measures that different ministries and other organisations are preparing.

According to the Border Guard’s current guidelines, cross-border traffic is not restricted for those who are healthcare professionals or researchers, elderly care professionals, border personnel, goods transport personnel, people working in the areas along the borders with Sweden and Norway where travel for work is common, diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers, or employees performing vital duties. The restriction applies to citizens of the EU/EEA and third-country nationals at internal and external borders. The purpose of the restriction is to reduce travel to Finland.

In addition to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, members of the working group include representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the National Emergency Supply Agency, the Finnish Immigration Service and the Border Guard.

The working group's term begins on 25 March 2020 and lasts until the state of emergency and the restriction of cross-border traffic can be lifted. The working group's term and duties will be assessed as the situation progresses.

Working group on essential work-related travel and other traffic

Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Chair

Olli Sorainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Vice Chair

Members

Sanna Paanukoski, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Veli-Pekka Reskola, Senior Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Anna Similä, Director of Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Transport and Communications

Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Interior

Leena Liukkonen, Deputy Director General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Teppo Lehtinen, Director General, Ministry of the Environment

Marja-Terttu Mäkiranta, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Tapani Aaltela, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Anna Hyppönen, Head of Section, Finnish Immigration Service

Tomi Lounema, CEO, National Emergency Supply Agency

Max Janzon, Senior Officer, Border Guard Headquarters

Laura Lindeman, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Leena Mäkipää, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Laura Perheentupa, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Kristel Stenman-Huuskonen, Project Manager, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Secretariat

Pipa Turvanen, Project Manager, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, secretary

Inquiries:
Migration Director Sonja Hämäläinen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, p. 029 504 7112
Senior Ministerial Adviser Olli Sorainen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, p. 029 504 8022

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