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Berry pickers travelled through Finland by train, exposing others to Covid-19

One of the four people has been diagnosed with coronavirus, while the other three have so far tested negative.

Mustikoita kerätään poimurin avulla
Since their arrival, the four have harvested berries in Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu (file photo). Image: Sami Takkinen / Yle

On Friday 14 August, four foreign berry pickers arrived at Helsinki Airport and immediately headed to Northern Finland on different trains. The following day, one of them was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection but by then had exposed an unknown number of other people to the illness.

Yle has learned that the members of the group are of Indian background and arrived in Finland by air from Portugal via the Netherlands. They travelled to a berry farm in Finnish Lapland and have since then also harvested berries in Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu.

Unknown number of exposures during travel

Markku Broas, Chief Infection Officer at the Lapland Hospital District, told the news agency STT on Sunday that fewer than 10 people had been exposed after their arrival in Kolari.

However it remains unclear how many people may have been exposed during their train journeys. So far only one of the four has tested positive for the illness.

On Sunday the owner of the berry farm told Yle that he had not been aware of the berry pickers' arrival in advance, but that he did know that people arriving from Portugal should be in quarantine for two weeks after arrival in Finland.

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