The COVID-19 certificates of vaccinated passengers will be randomly screened at Helsinki airport, where the ‘green line’ has been established in order to speed up processing of fully vaccinated passengers against the virus.
So far, COVID-19 testimonials for travelers from other countries have been verified at Helsinki Airport upon departure, upon check-in as well as upon arrival.
According to Vantaa Mayor Ritva Vilianen, the line is designed for fully vaccinated people who make up nearly 90 percent of all travelers, TheSchengen.com reports.
“The change was necessary to ease the chaos at the airport,” Viljanin said, stressing that “now there will be no huge parking lots.”
Last week, Finavia, the operator of Finnish airports, stressed that while the number of passengers continues to increase, the overall screening process will become very difficult.
Venavia confirmed that passenger volume is expected to double by the end of this year.
The former Civil Aviation Authority noted in this regard that “when vaccination coverage in Finland is already at a good level, and the majority of new arrivals are vaccinated, mass screening activities are no longer justified from the point of view of epidemic management,” YLE reported.
According to Finavia, verification of COVID-19 documents is the responsibility of the travel operator with the assurance that these documents are no longer subject to routine border controls.
The Finnish government announced last week that it had decided to extend entry restrictions for non-vaccinated travelers until the end of this year.
In this regard, the Finnish Minister of Social Affairs, Krista Keoru, stressed that such measures are similar to the restrictions imposed by other European Union countries to stop the spread of the virus further.
According to her, travelers who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus must undergo a testing process upon arrival in Finland until at least the end of this year. However, it clarified that fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from the test requirement.
The Finnish government has confirmed that border controls will remain in place as long as at least 80 percent of the population in Finland is fully immune to the virus.
Soon after its announcement, the decision began to be criticized by many people in Finland.
The mayor of Vantaa, as well as the Finnish tourism industry, have also expressed concerns about the government’s decision to maintain its restrictions for another period.
“We were expecting the government to start easing restrictions and removing restrictions,” Visit Rovaniemi’s managing director, Sanna Kärkkäinen, noted in this regard, as reported by Helsinki Times.
According to her, since vaccination coverage is good, the situation had to be changed, stressing that such a decision was a “great disappointment”.