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Finland to resume travel restrictions on Netherlands, Belgium and Andorra

Christian Fernsby |
The Finnish government decided on Thursday to resume travel restrictions on the Netherlands, Belgium and Andorra as of August 10.

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The number of coronavirus cases in those countries has started increasing and exceeded the Finnish criteria, the government said in a press release.

The government also noted that numbers in Germany and Denmark have increased as well, adding that it will review the situation to verify if the occurrence rate in the two countries exceeds the criteria Finland has set.

Finland relaxed travel from a total of 17 European countries in mid-July. However, it returned to controls for travel from Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland last week, as their COVID-19 occurrence rate had exceeded the Finnish criteria.

Under the Finnish policies announced in early July, unrestricted travel is only allowed to and from countries where the current occurrence of the COVID-19 is 8 cases per 100,000 residents within two weeks. In Finland, the figure stands at 2.3 per 100,000 people.

Outside of the Schengen area, Finland has opened borders to countries including Cyprus, Ireland, San Marino, Georgia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The government also said that the epidemic situation in neighboring Sweden has developed positively. The government pledged that in the next review, the entries from Sweden via air travel and over the sea and land would all be reviewed separately.

Kirsi Varhila, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, told a press conference Thursday that a "road map" for upcoming anti-COVID-19 measures would be published next week, and it would also include the criteria for requiring the use of face masks.

According to Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland has to date confirmed a total of 7,532 COVID-19 infections, of which 20 are new-confirmed cases. The death toll now is 331, while an estimated 6,980 people have recovered.

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