Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Finnish Businesses Demand Shorter Quarantine Period Claiming It Is Significantly Impacting Tourism

Several Finnish companies, employers and cities related to tourism are urging the government to cease its quarantine requirements for passengers who have been vaccinated, resulted negative or are recovering from Coronavirus, reports.

The quarantine requirement is a really major obstacle to the recovery of tourism,” Topi Manner, the Chief Executive of the largest airline in Finland, Finnair, said.

Besides Finnair, Finavia, the Finnish Hospitality Association (Mara), Service Union United (PAM), and the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Helsinki are the other plea signatories.

The country obliges passengers to get tested for COVID-19, 72 hours after arrival, which can shorten up the two-week quarantine requirement to only a few days.

The requirement applies to people travelling from all countries with at least 25 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants during a 14-day observance. In Europe, the only country with a relatively low rate of infections is Iceland.

The Chief Executive of Finavia, the Finnish Civil Aviation Administration, Kimmo Mäki, noted that if Finland’s entry restrictions remain the same, tourism will be left in an intolerable situation.

On the other hand, Timo Lappi, the managing director of Mara, the Finnish Hospitality Association, implied that the country could be welcoming travellers healthily and safely without the need to impose quarantine.

“Imposing a quarantine requirement on passengers arriving in the country with an advance test certificate would heavily inhibit travel to Finland, all the while others are commencing travel in a health-safe way,” Lappi said.

The group estimates that 140,000 people are employed in the tourism industry in the country, which has contributed 2.7 per cent of the gross domestic product of Finland in 2018.

They also mentioned that the quarantine requirement had been abolished for passengers arriving from the green list countries and possessing a vaccination certificate. The list includes all Schengen area countries but three countries.

Spain and Germany have begun relaxing their quarantine requirements already, with the latter imposing quarantine only for people who arrive from high-risk countries.

Recently, several EU countries have agreed on establishing a vaccination certificate, which allows EU citizens to travel without having to undergo entry restrictions. In contrast, the World Health Organization Committee (WHO) objected to the plan by revealing scepticism on vaccine’s efficiency.

On the other hand, countries like Cyprus, Denmark, Czechia, Greece, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Spain have agreed to the vaccination passport plan, aiming to allow free and safe travelling for European citizens.

On May 20, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to establish vaccination passports for EU citizens to start travelling by July 1.

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