The Finnish government is preparing to facilitate the coronavirus measures currently in place in the country until mid-February, starting with the removal of internal border controls on January 31.
At a meeting on Tuesday, January 18, the country’s government discussed the current restrictions based on expert assessments on the epidemiological situation and agreed to lift some of these measures by mid-February, Schengenvisainfo.com reports.
According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the current restrictive measures and recommendations will remain effective until mid-month, as the country confirms that these measures are still necessary to reduce hospital burden, so more people can obtain a booster syringe.
However, on January 31, 2022, the government plans to lift internal border controls,
“The government plans to raise internal boundaries after 31 January 2022, in line with the opinion of the Finnish Institute for Health and Social Welfare, which was reported that travel did not play an important role in the development of the epidemic in Finland and this is no longer possible to justify border control for public health reasons,” The government indicates its reporter statement.
On the same date, the recommendations regarding distance education in higher education and recreational activities for youth and children will also expire.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health briefed the government on its plans on expanding the use of COVID-19 passports by making them mandatory to access entertainment events. The government has endorsed the plan and it will now be presented to Parliament next month.
Despite government plans to ease COVID-19 measures, the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) asserts that by the end of January and the beginning of February, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and in other countries was high. The European Union will reach its peak.
WHO data showed that Finland has reported 45,017 new cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days, bringing the total number of cases reported in the country since the start of the pandemic to 399,329.
On the other hand, THL expects about 400 – 700 patients to end their week in specialized healthcare in the next three months, with a maximum weekly median of 900 and 300 patients expected to be at peak infections.
Finland’s move to ease procedures comes at a time when other EU countries are also working to ease COVID-19 restrictions, particularly those related to travel. Earlier today, TheSchengen.com reported that from January 21, Sweden is preparing to scrap the pre-test requirement.
>> Better days are coming for travel, as EU countries think of treating COVID-19 like the flu