Finland reopens borders but not to Portugal

in News · 24-06-2020 16:00:00 · 5 Comments

Finland announced on 23 June that, as of 13 July, it will reopen its borders to 12 more European countries with a low rate of covid-19 contagions, using a criterion that leaves out Portugal and Spain, among others.

The decision of the Finnish Government, which had previously opened its borders to Norway, Denmark and the three Baltic republics - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -, is based on the maximum number of eight contagions per 100 thousand inhabitants during the last 14 days, criterion that, in addition to the countries mentioned, currently only 12 other Europeans fulfil.

Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, in the Schengen area, plus Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland, outside of it, are the countries to which the Helsinki authorities will reopen their borders.

Both tourists from those countries and Finns who return from them will be able to freely enter the country without being asked to complete a 14-day quarantine, a recommendation that will, however, remain in force for the rest of the states around the world.

The Finnish Government has clarified that it will update the list on 10 July, so that from then on, other countries that meet the criteria required by Helsinki may be included.

To date, Finland, which has about 5.5 million inhabitants, has accounted for 327 deaths out of 7,155 cases of contamination with the new coronavirus, although the rate of contagion has dropped significantly in recent weeks, with only 23 people hospitalised, two only in intensive care.

In Portugal, with about 10.28 million inhabitants, 1,540 people died (six more since Monday) of the 39,737 confirmed as infected (345 more in the last 24 hours).

On the 20th of this month, in an interview with the Lusa agency, the Portuguese foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, when reacting to the decisions of some Nordic and Baltic countries, considered it “legitimate to think” that the imposition of restrictions on flights between countries of the European Union is due to competition for tourist markets, given the serious crisis in the sector across the EU.

Santos Silva insisted that the criterion used, for example, by Denmark - less than 20 infections per 100,000 inhabitants -, is just one of several indicators and Portugal "disputes that only one indicator is used".

Refuting the restrictions, Santos Silva insisted that they are based on data that do not reflect the complexity of the epidemiological situation.

“What is more credible? A country that has had more than 500 cases a day and from one moment to the next seems to have stopped, or a country like Germany, which has always had many cases, has always managed to respond well from the point of view of its health system, as well as Portugal too, and who, turning around, finds new outbreaks?”, he asks.

The minister assured that he understood that the reopening of borders in Europe "is not unconditional" and "that each Member State can take the measures it sees fit to guarantee maximum health security for its citizens, residents and visitors".

"We do not dispute that countries like Denmark or the Czech Republic have this concern, what we dispute is that they use only one indicator and an inappropriate indicator", he explained at the time.


This is good news. Now perhaps the Portuguese estate agents will stop advertising the entire country's housing and then tell foreigners the house they choose to buy is NOT FOR SALE. By then they have all your details and annoy the buyer to buy something you never wanted in the first place. They all do this and it's a giant farce.

By mike from Lisbon on 26-06-2020 12:27

Why are they still testing so many people?! No one else is! Portugal and Germany are shooting themselves in the foot! They need to ensure they have enough ventilators to treat the most vulnerable in society and let everybody else get infected! Herd immunity always worked throughout history! 80% of the population won’t even know they have had it! It’s time to move on, ignore the WHO, do less tests like everybody else including Finland, start opening up the economy, and start manufacturing strategically important products for the country and become less dependent on China!

By Anna from Madeira on 25-06-2020 11:59

There we see that rigorous testing isn't the way to go. It was never. Testing in hospitals and old people's homes is priority, but otherwise one should take care of the ill and let the virus spread. It will do that anyway. What we do now only prolongs the crisis.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 25-06-2020 08:43

I am from montreal Canada eu sou uma Portuguesa portugal ten tomado medidas paro codv19 como o Canada viva Portugal dow al the others of Europe that are not great portugal do not accept the people from.Europe in the future take tourists from canada that are Portuguese

By Eunice Arede from Other on 25-06-2020 01:55

Finland and Portugal not only have different population numbers but also different country sizes , so all comparison is stupid , and the Nordic countries have already shown their lack of unity with Souther n EU countries , and they will eventually be responsible for the collapse of the EU

By Paul R from Lisbon on 24-06-2020 05:52
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