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Mobile data reveals Easter traffic brisk, but less busy than usual

Statistics from Telia show while people travelled from Uusimaa over the break, it was still less than in previous years.

Matkailuauto lähestyy sulaa asvalttitietä pitkin, ympärillä näkyy lumisia peltoja.
Some automatic traffic measuring devices in Lapland registered more vehicles than they did last year. Image: Risto Koskinen / Yle

Data compiled by telecoms operator Telia shows that many people left Uusimaa to spend the Easter weekend elsewhere in Finland.

According to the company, roughly 72,000 trips departed from Uusimaa last Thursday.

Data for the same period last year revealed that only 22,000 journeys were made from the region, a difference that can be explained by the fact that Uusimaa was under a travel ban until mid April.

In 2019 the number was 134,000, nearly double this year's figure.

Uusimaa has consistently seen some of the highest infection rates throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In February experts from health agency THL called on the region's residents not to travel to other parts of the country.

Telia's Tiia Palvimo said it was not possible to identify groups or individuals from the data.

"The figures have been extrapolated to cover the entire population, using market share and population statistics. They describe the number of trips that started in Uusimaa each day and continued with stops lasting fewer than 50 minutes," she said.

Lapland resorts busy

Despite messages from officials asking them to stay home, many people headed north to make the most of the ski season.

"Yes, the fells are busy, really a lot of people on the move. Fortunately the safety distances are being maintained and masks worn. Perhaps we're learning to stick to the coronavirus rules, and for that I'm very happy," said Visit Ylläs CEO Janne-Juhani Haarma.

Data from automatic road traffic measurement points supports Telia's finding that Easter travel did not reach pre-pandemic levels.

The Jääskö measuring station on Route 79 to Levi registered an 11 percent drop in vehicles last Thursday, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Compared to last year, Lapland's roads were significantly busier. Automatic traffic measuring stations on Kittiläntie registered roughly three and a half times the traffic they did last Easter.

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