Finland opens borders to plane arrivals from Estonia

Estonia’s northern neighbor Finland is to allow plane arrivals, from Estonia, from the start of next week, for the purpose of work commuting. Arrival by sea is still subject to the same current coronavirus travel regime, which the Finnish government has extended to the end of June.

Finland’s closure of its borders following the late autumn 2020 coronavirus wave met with push-back from Estonia, many of whose citizens work in Finland and commute between the two countries. Despite the issue being raised by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas during an official visit with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in February, Finland has stuck to its current regime of closing quarantine-free entry to states with a reported 14-day coronavirus rate over 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Since the quarantine period is 14 days, this would made regular commuting impractical and effectively forced Estonian citizens resident in Finland to choose which side of the Gulf of Finland to stay on – a question which had already been posed when the original coronavirus wave arrived in spring 2020.

Estonia’s current rate is 137 per 100,000.

However, from Monday, those arriving from Estonia by plane will be exempt from the quarantine requirement, the Estonian foreign ministry’s undersecretary, Märt Volmer, said.

Some details still need to be ironed out, Volmer added, with discussions needed with the Finnish authorities to ascertain what their primary concerns are.

Read more: ERR.EE

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