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Finland Witnesses Surge in Chart Flights Bookings Amid New Strain Concerns

With the end of the year holidays approaching, tourism rates for Finland destinations are at their peak.

According to YLE, the Finnish news portal, the number of tourists arriving in the Lapland and Kuusamo region this year is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels when there are no travel restrictions or concerns about catching the disease, reports.

We are not afraid of the Corona virus. We’re trying to get back to normal, but we’re trying to do it safely. Said Sian Porter, a tourist from the UK who came to the area for the Christmas holidays.

As travelers regain their confidence to travel again, bookings and reservations for charter flights from all over Europe to Kuusamo have reached levels in the hundreds. The pent-up demand for travel in Europe is reflected in the number of charter flights as more flights are booked for the Christmas period, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“At least at this point, there have been no cancellations, and we hope there will not be any. We hope the travel situation will remain safe this winter,” Sari Päivärinta, director of Kuusamo Airport.

According to Finavia, more than 80 charter flights will land at Kuusamo Airport alone in December, and no cancellations have been made so far.

Finnish airport operator, Finavia, has upgraded its cleaning services and boosted mask requirements in a bid to mitigate the spread of Omicron, the new alternative to COVID-19.

>> Traveling to Finland amid COVID-19: Entry rules explained

“We took about 90 percent of the charter flights to Rovaniemi, Kittila and Ivalo seen in 2019,” explains Elena Sumenin, Finavia’s communications coordinator.

According to Finavia’s statistics, in December 2019, a total of 724 chartered flights arrived in Rovaniemi, Kittila, Ivalo, Inontikyo and Cozamo.

Furthermore, all passengers arriving in the Kuusamo area must present a valid vaccination document or even a test result for those coming from high-risk countries, such as the UK.

In addition, anyone with COVID-19 is asked to avoid contact with others until symptoms have disappeared for two days and at least ten days have passed since symptoms appeared. Those who have been fully vaccinated are exempt from the quarantine requirements but will be advised to get tested if they develop symptoms after exposure.

Health experts and other representatives see no potential risks as the number of tourists increases because they have prepared their health centers, corporate guidelines and programs for travelers on maps, who will essentially stay in their own bubble – with minimal contact with other peers.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 7,956 positive cases were reported in Finland over the past seven days, bringing the total number of recorded positive cases to 19,680.

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