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Finland likely to lower border restrictions for seaport commuters, STT reports

The Finnish government is scheduled to deal with the matter on Thursday, according to the news agency.

Virosta saapuville matkustajille tehdään sisärajatarkastuksia.
Passengers arriving from Estonia. Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle
Yle News

News agency STT reported on Wednesday that it is likely that Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) plans to ease cross-border coronavirus-related travel restrictions for, among other things, work-related commutes.

Specifically, restrictions would be lowered for commuters arriving at sea ports from the countries of Estonia, Sweden and Norway, the agency said.

Tens of thousands of Estonians regularly travel to Finland for work.

STT reported that the government plans to implement the arrangement during a scheduled meeting on Thursday. Additionally, the government also plans to permit individuals to enter the country if they can show proof they have received both doses of a Covid vaccine.

In an open letter published by newspaper Helsingin Sanomat last week, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas appealed to her Finnish counterpart to loosen border restrictions so that families who have been separated for more than four months could be reunited.

Last Friday, Marin told Yle that change to the border policy was on the way.

For some time now, only individuals who carry out essential work for the functioning of Finnish society or security of supply have been permitted to enter Finland by land or sea.

Others also set to lower restrictions

Regarding air travel, individuals from the EU and Schengen area have been able enter the country for work-related purposes for about the past two weeks. However, since many Estonian workers cannot afford to commute by air, Finland's relatively gradual lowering of restrictions has faced criticism.

As the epidemic situation has improved, a select number of countries are also set to lower travel restrictions. Those countries are expected to include, for example, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

STT also reported that cross border travel into Finland from Russia will open up to individuals who own property in the Nordic country. The reasoning behind that decision is a legal question of whether Finland could incur liability if such individuals are unable to maintain their properties.

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