24 passengers on a Skopje-Turku flight tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival in Finland last Saturday. The case has set off alarms in the Finnish government, which is now considering forcing travelers arriving from high-risk destinations to undergo Covid-19 tests and quarantine.
The government's intention is for these new measures to come into force as soon as possible.
The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Krista Kiuru, explained that people who do not follow the quarantine orders could face a fine or up to three months in jail.
Kiuru explained at a press conference that 157 people were travelling on board the aircraft, which arrived on Saturday evening. Passengers agreed to undergo Covid-19 tests on arrival. However, the situation was different on another flight from Romania the day before. Many travelers returning from Bucharest refused to take the test.
The government said another flight from Skopje (North Macedonia) will arrive in Turku on Tuesday. Low-cost airline Wizz Air flight W67769 is scheduled to leave Skopje International Airport on Tuesday at 17:00 (local time) and land in Turku at 21:15, according to the tracking website FlightRadar24.
The Finnish authorities are prepared to ensure safety and detect possible cases of coronavirus as soon as passengers set foot in Finland.
Now, the Finnish government said it is considering the possibility of imposing mandatory tests on travelers arriving from all the countries hardest hit by the virus.
So far, Finland has imposed minor restrictions and the obligation to self-quarantine on travelers arriving from countries with a higher incidence of the virus.
As a general rule, they apply to countries where more than 8 cases have been registered per 100,000 inhabitants during the previous two weeks. Exceptionally, for example in the cases of Germany and Denmark, 10 cases per 100,000 people are allowed.