National airline Finnair has announced it will start accepting a Covid-19 vaccination certificate from passengers on flights to Finland as an alternative to a negative test result or a certificate of previous infection. The new procedure will come into effect from 11 May.
In a press release, the company outlined that the vaccine must be taken at least 21 days before the date of travel and that one dose of a coronavirus is sufficient for certification.
"Vaccines have proven their power in fighting the pandemic, and vaccination certificates will play a key role in the upcoming EU Digital Green Certificate to ensure the health and safety of travellers," says Finnair's Medical Director Kimmo Ketola wrote in the company's press release. "The likelihood of a vaccinated person being infected and transmitting COVID-19 is very small."
Passengers without a vaccination certificate may still present a negative test result or proof of previous infection, as has been the company's policy since January.
The airline will accept certificates in English, French, German, Estonian, Swedish, Spanish, Russian and Italian but not in Finnish.
Finnair's Head of Media Relations Päivyt Tallqvist told Yle News that this was because passengers travelling to Finland from abroad will have their certificates checked at the departure point by gate agents, who generally do not read or understand Finnish.
However, Tallqvist added that the airline will accept a Finnish language printout from the patient database Omakanta, even though it will be in Finnish.
"The government has communicated that there will be a possibility to print out a vaccination certificate in English from OmaKanta at some point in May. At this point, we will nevertheless as of 11 May accept a printout from the pages, as it contains the relevant information in such a format that we easily can instruct our gate agents at outstations to check the relevant parts, such as customer name and the date of the Covid-19 vaccination," she said.
In this week's All Points North podcast we asked THL expert Hanna Nohynek about Finland's vaccine rollout. You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.