Last week, the Finnish government first and then the Parliament gave their approval to isolating the Uusimaa region (Helsinki and surroundings) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, this lockdown seems more theoretical than real in view of the latest figures published by the Police, responsible for monitoring compliance with the measure.
On Wednesday 1 April a total of 37,004 vehicles arrived at the Uusimaa border checkpoints, which are guarded by the police and army conscripts. Of them, the police gave orders to turn around to "a total of 189 during the day," says the Helsinki Police Department in a press release.
This means only 0.51% of the cars that reached the provincial border on Wednesday were requested to back. On the same day, at the checkpoints the Police imposed 2 fines for violating the emergency law.
In addition to the roadblocks, police officers also monitor the trains that connect Uusimaa with the rest of Finland. On Wednesday, 758 train passengers were checked during the day, of which 12 people were asked to turn around. No fine was imposed on trains.
The Government decided to close the Helsinki area in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Uusimaa is the most affected area by the disease in Finland. Until Thursday, 960 infections have been diagnosed in this province's hospitals. This is 63% of the total 1,518 cases found in the country.
On Thursday 2 April between midnight and 9:00 am, the number of vehicles arriving at the Uusimaa border checkpoints was 12,753. Of them, 20 were forbidden to cross and received orders to return. This is 0.15% of the total number of cars.
On the trains, until 9:00 am the Police had checked the reasons for traveling of 147 people and 1 of them was ordered to turn around. No fines for violating the emergency law had been imposed on Thursday morning.
However, those are the figures for the night and the early morning hours. When available, the figures for the entire day will tell if the number of vehicles rejected being greater or less than the previous day.
"Those arriving at the border and traveling by train should remember that the reasons for the journey should be easy to verify in order to make the inspection as smooth as possible. It is also worth keeping the necessary documents ready for presentation," reminds Jere Roimu from the Helsinki Police Department.