The government of Finland recommends that citizens avoid all travel to Russia due to the deterioration of the Covid-19 situation and the spread of new variants like the highly infectious Delta variant in the neighboring country.
The recommendation was made on Thursday by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a statement in which it also released the results of the latest monitoring report of the epidemic prepared by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
According to the report, 1,282 new Covid-19 cases were diagnosed in Finland between 28 June and 4 July. During the previous week the corresponding figure was around 960. The number of new cases has doubled compared to the preceding two-week period: during the past two weeks, the number of new cases totaled 2,240, while in the preceding two-week period, it was 1,093.
The Finnish authorities have no doubts about the cause of this recent spike in infections: "It is largely due to football fans returning from Russia after attending UEFA European Championship matches," emphasizes the health agency in its assessment.
By 6 July, hospital districts have reported to THL of 481 cases related to the Euro 2020 matches, with 165 further infections. The majority of those new infections have been registered in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.
The epidemiological situation has deteriorated in certain areas. In addition to the Euro 2020 tourism, the increase in the number of infections can be explained by increased travel abroad and border traffic, and the deteriorating Covid-19 situation in Russia.
But there are also local Covid-19 clusters and infections resulting from social contacts.
In certain areas, infections are found especially among seasonal workers, although these cases have not resulted in large-scale transmission chains.
In line with the previous weeks, the highest incidence of new cases was among 20–29-year-olds.
On 7 July 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 976.
About 61% of the Finnish population have received at least their first vaccine dose of the vaccine and 21% are fully vaccinated.