The passengers arriving at Helsinki-Vantaa airport were not met by health authorities and they went their homes on public transport. They should be at home. At least two weeks.
Juha Tuominen, Managing Director of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS), would like to place those returning to Finland under supervised quarantine now. That means practically two weeks at an airport hotel.
On Thursday, Tuominen highlighted the situation regarding those who are now returning from Spain in Yle's morning talkshow.
He said, “Thousands of people are coming from Spain. Spain has a lot of infections. It is not impossible that the airplanes bring infections here. If there is a lot of people coming in, that's clearly a problem for us. They will spread the disease.”
Tuominen wants those coming from abroad to be placed under controlled quarantine, something more stringent than current information quarantine. According to him, such an understanding of the need for stricter quarantine has come to HUS experts and was discussed on Thursday.
Tuominen mentioned that he does not know if the government has any plans to quarantine people coming from Spain.
"We made an internal estimate that this [wave of returning tourists] is most likely to increase the number of patients and it has not actually been taken into account in these forecasts," said Tuominen. And he continued, "Today, I asked our own preparedness manager to call the ministry preparedness manager to take this into consideration."
He does not know whether the matter has progressed on the basis of that call but he said HUS preparedness manager’s call welcomes the fact that the matter is being evaluated.
Cases may increase in Finland
According to Tuominen, there may be “significant infections” among the returned tourists, which would increase the coronavirus cases in Finland. According to HUS experts, if self-quarantine really does not work, the number of infected people will increase.
Tuominen said to Helsingin Sanomat, “Therefore, for us, the quarantine must surely be real. And what I really mean is that I really did use the word supervised quarantine. It is something more than the present.”
In his view, one example of this could be the airport hotel, although the capacity could be a problem.
"My own opinion is that we should do controlled quarantine for this group," Tuominen said, referring in particular to Finns coming from Spain. "Lawyers know what quarantine under control is, but for me, that means practically two weeks at an airport hotel."
At the same television program, Minister for Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson said the issue has been discussed and is under preparation. However, Henriksson did not directly state in the broadcast whether a formal decision had been made.