From 19th September it is permitted to travel without restrictions between Finland and Sweden and Germany, among other countries, Finnlines says in a press release. Estonia has already been open to passenger traffic since earlier. The lifting of restrictions means that passengers travelling to Finland from these countries will not need to self-isolate or take a coronavirus test upon their arrival in Finland.
According to the Institute for health and safety (THL), Finnish vessels have successfully been able to avoid spreading of the virus. Jari Jalava, chief specialist at THL, says that there have not been infection chains onboard ferries and that only a few isolated cases of infection have been identified.
“There have been significant measures in harbours and onboard vessels to prevent spreading of the virus, as the health and security of passengers is always the first and foremost priority for shipowners. All shipowners that operate from Finland are committed to restricting passenger amounts to 50 – 75% of the vessel’s capacity.” says Jarkko Saarimäki, Deputy Director-General of transport system services at Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.
The shipowners have prepared for a safe and gradual return of passenger traffic on their vessels. To stop spreading of the virus and ensure health security onboard, special activities have been put into place, including effectivating cleaning and disinfection, as well as safety distances in terminals and onboard. Passengers are continually reminded of safe distances and hand hygiene, and hand wash and disinfection points are available onboard. It is recommended, that passengers use face masks while travelling in any situation where keeping a safe distance is not possible.