Prosecutors have filed charges in Helsinki District Court against three defendants over their refusal or failure to take a mandatory Covid test on arrival into Finland, the first such cases of their kind in the country.
The charges relate to a temporary section added to the Communicable Diseases Act during the summer, according to which an adult who intentionally or through gross negligence fails to take a Covid test will face a fine.
The law change allowed travellers from abroad who are fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid within the previous six months or come from a country with a low infection rate to freely enter Finland. Other passengers must take a test on arrival, self-isolate for three days, and then take a second test.
News agency STT asked other district courts around the country if they have handled similar cases, but none were discovered. However, more charges are likely, as Finland's number-crunching agency Statistics Finland had recorded the filing of 63 criminal reports over the failure to take a mandatory test by the end of September.
Turku man fined for breaking quarantine order
Previously, people who refused to take a Covid test at the border could be fined for committing a health violation, which could also apply to cases where a person leaves quarantine before the allocated time had expired.
Earlier this month, the District Court of Southwest Finland dealt with a case in which a Turku man, who had returned to Finland from a business trip, was ordered to self-isolate. However, he admitted to the court that he broke the order by visiting a grocery store.
In its ruling, the court said that, given the circumstances and the danger the man's actions posed to the health of others, a fine was an adequate punishment, and he was ordered to pay an income-linked day fine of 150 euros.