Saturday 10/16/21
EURO 2020

Dozens of Finnish soccer fans test Covid positive after trip to Russia

In addition, about 800 people entered the country without being tested because the testing capacities at the border were not sufficient
21 June 2021, Russia, Saint Petersburg: Finland fans cheer outside Saint Petersburg stadium prior to the start of the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B soccer match between Finland and Belgium. Photo: Igor Russak/dpa.
Finland fans cheer outside Saint Petersburg stadium prior to the start of the match between Finland and Belgium. Photo: Igor Russak/dpa.

Dozens of Finnish fans have tested positive for the coronavirus upon their return from Russia, where the Finland national team played their last Euro 2020 group stage game against Belgium on Monday in St Petersburg.

Finnish media reported on Thursday that 86 people tested positive for the coronavirus so far. Hundreds of Finns had traveled to Russia to follow the match.

Not all tests taken at the border have been analyzed yet. In addition, about 800 people entered the country without being tested because the testing capacities at the border were not sufficient. A further increase of positive cases is therefore expected.

The Finnish health authority (THL) advised fans returning from Russia to get tested no more than 72 hours after the trip and to avoid contacts in the meantime.

The pandemic situation in Russia got worse rapidly in June. New infection numbers rose across the country, including in major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg.

In St. Petersburg, incidence during 14 days is 240 cases compared to 19 cases in Finland.

"This means that the risk of being infected with coronavirus in St. Petersburg is much greater than in Finland," THL emphasizes

Prime Minister expressed concern

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin expressed concern about the situation and also about people of returning from an European Union summit in Brussels.

Marin also urged all travelers coming from Russia to get tested as soon as possible.

Finland has long had one of the lowest infection incidences in Europe.

In their first participation an Euros tournament, the Finns played their opening match in Copenhagen against Denmark. The other two group stage matches against Russia and Belgium were played in St Petersburg.

Finland were eliminated after finishing third in Group B, but not among the best four third placed, which qualified to the round of 16.

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