Government decision: Travel within Finland allowed as long as health and safety guidelines are observed
From 29 May, people can once again travel within Finland if they follow the safety guidelines related to coronavirus. It is important for tourists and tourism sector operators to be committed to complying with the measures in place to prevent COVID-19 infections. The Government decided on the matter in its written procedure on Friday 29 May.
“Reopening domestic tourism is a wise decision. As the Minister responsible for tourism, I consider that it is important to get Finland's tourism and economy back on track, putting safety ahead of course. It is clear that the tourism sector has suffered from coronavirus, but this situation can be alleviated by means of domestic tourism. As the disease is not over yet, I appeal to both tourists and tourism entrepreneurs to do all they can for safe tourism,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
In the current epidemic situation, the reopening of domestic tourism is not expected to significantly increase the spread of the epidemic, nor to cause overburdening of the healthcare system in tourist destinations. However, we must prepare for rapid regional changes and higher local risk levels.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have drawn up guidelines for the safe reopening of domestic tourism in Finland. The guidelines will enter into force immediately. Tourism companies and tourists are responsible for adhering to the guidelines and for applying them to their activities.
Avoid travelling if you are sick and remember careful hand and cough hygiene
According to the guidelines, sick persons should avoid all travel. If you get symptoms, you should immediately contact the healthcare services of the municipality or city where you are staying. People who belong to the high-risk group, should consult their attending physician before travelling anywhere.
When travelling, it is important to avoid non-essential physical contacts and to observe good hand and cough hygiene. Tourism companies must pay particular attention to cleaning and ensure that adequate preparedness and training of staff are in order. If someone in a tourism company is diagnosed with coronavirus infection, the physician responsible for infectious diseases in the municipality or hospital district, where the person is staying or the tourism company is located, is responsible for the tracing of the infection.
Additionally, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment together with representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the tourism company have compiled a set of national health, hygiene and security instructions for tourism companies and travellers. The instructions take into account the guidance and recommendations of the Tourism and Transport package on the gradual and coordinated opening of tourism, published by the Commission on 13 May.
On 6 May 2020, the Government issued a Government Resolution on a plan for a hybrid strategy to manage the COVID-19 crisis. The resolution states that as Finland has so far succeeded in curbing the progression of the epidemic, it is possible to move gradually to the next stage of mitigation. This means a controlled shift from the extensive restrictive measures to more targeted measures. It is still recommended that all but non-essential travel abroad be avoided.
Inquiries: Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 047 213, Ida Müller, Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 033, and Paula Tiittala, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 744