Finland to Demand EU Passengers Present Negative Covid Test
(Bloomberg) -- Finland will require negative Covid-19 tests from passengers arriving from European Union countries, showing how fears about the fast-spreading omicron variant disrupts the bloc’s efforts to coordinate entry rules.
As they seek to stem a surge of infections, European nations are introducing a wide variety of curbs, threatening to thwart attempts at making travel rules more predictable across the union. Finland’s decision aligns the Nordic country with Italy and Greece, which have also imposed unilateral rules that go further than an EU system that relies on a digital Covid certificate.
Travelers to Finland will also need to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the illness in the past six months, the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin decided late on Tuesday. The restriction will be enforced starting Dec. 28 until Jan. 16.
The aim is to slow down virus transmission, buy time for booster vaccinations and prevent excess strain on hospitals, the government said. Finland had last week decided to require travelers from outside the European Union and the Schengen area to present a negative test result from the prior 48 hours.
Other measures include restrictions on bars and restaurants, banning high-risk activities such as some indoor hobbies, and putting limits on where the Covid passport can be used. Even so, schools and high schools will open normally after the winter break, the government said.
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