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THL advises football fans not to travel to Euro2020

Finland's men's team will play at a finals tournament for the first time this summer, but fans are advised to stay at home.

File photo of Finnish football fans during a game against Greece. Image: Jani Aarnio / Yle
Yle News

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has recommended that Finland's football supporters should not travel abroad for the European Championship finals this summer due to coronavirus concerns.

The tournament will be the first time Finland's men's team has appeared at a major finals. The Huuhkajat (or Eagle-Owls) are due to play at least three group matches in the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark and St. Petersburg, Russia in June.

"Finland's qualification to the European Championships is a huge event," THL's Director of Health Security Mika Salminen said in a statement. "However, the coronavirus pandemic has not disappeared, and the same recommendations apply to the tournament as to any other form of travel. Unfortunately, it will be better to watch the matches at home."

Yle reported earlier this week that the South Karelian Social and Healthcare District, the Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health had been preparing to allow tourists to cross Finland's borders.

However, many countries still restrict entry because of the pandemic.

Denmark requires all visitors to provide a negative coronavirus test certificate taken no more than 48 hours before arrival into the country. THL added that a negative test certificate must be obtained at personal expense from a private healthcare operator.

Travellers to Denmark must also take a second coronavirus test 24 hours after arriving in the country, although this requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age.

Meanwhile Russian authorities have not yet stated the conditions under which football fans might be allowed to enter the country.

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship will be played in 11 different countries from 11 June to 11 July. Finland will play in Copenhagen against Denmark on 12 June, followed by two games in St. Petersburg, against Russia on 16 June and against Belgium on 21 June.

THL noted that the coronavirus incidence rate in St. Petersburg was currently 187 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 52 in Finland.

In Denmark, the incidence rate is 200 cases per 100,000 people.

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