As coronavirus cases continue to spread across the globe, a passenger arriving in Finland may soon be fined hundreds of euros for refusing to take the COVID-19 test. According to AP, Finland has a population of nearly 5.5 million and it has one of the lowest coronavirus figures in Europe. The Nordic country has maintained tight border control during the pandemic and now to further curb the spread of the virus, the country has introduced a new amendment to the Finnish infectious diseases act with regard to border security.
As per reports, Finland has imposed a fine on a tourist who enters the nation and opposes a required COVID-19 test. The law will take effect from July 12 and it will be valid until October 15. It is worth noting that it already was possible for the Finnish police to fine those refusing COVID-19 tests, but now the authorities have said that the amendment will remarkably clarify the situation in judicial terms.
Konsta Arvelin, an inspector at the National Police Board, said on July 10 that the change creates a completely new criminal offence in Finland, titled “violation of the COVID-19 test”.
Meanwhile, the new amendment comes after the Finnish health authorities detected a spike in coronavirus cases traced to soccer fans returning from neighbouring Russia following European Championship matches in St. Petersburg. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare had urged all passengers who travelled from Russia to Finland by any bus company to apply for a coronavirus test. The officials had informed that more than 300 virus cases had been detected from passengers returning from St. Petersburg, mostly soccer fans, and the number is likely to increase.
The coronavirus Delta variant has also likely started to spread in Finland after football fans returned from Russia. The Delta variant - previously referred to as the variant from India - is more contagious than previous strains and is very commonly seen in Russia. Health authorities and public officials have continued to urge those who returned from Russia - as well as individuals they have been in contact with - to be tested for coronavirus infections, even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.