Yle: Finland opens to tourists from Monday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Tallink ship departing from Tallinn.
Tallink ship departing from Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Finnish government has decided to allow tourists from Estonia and other neighboring countries, except Sweden, from Monday, June 15.

From Monday, 15 June, Finnish residents will be able to travel to Baltic and Nordic countries, Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said during a press conference on Thursday, Finnish broadcaster Yle reported.

Estonian citizens and residents will also be able to travel to Finland and will not need to quarantine on arrival.

The end of travel restrictions with Finland was also confirmed by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) at a government press conference on Thursday.

"Estonians can go to Finland without restrictions and Finnish citizens will not be subject to the quarantine requirement when they return to Finland," he said.

Travel between the two countries was suspended in March due to coronavirus.

Last month the three Baltic countries launched a "travel bubble" between themselves meaning residents do not have to quarantine when travelling to another country.

It is likely Poland will relax border controls with Lithuania soon, further expanding the travel bubble.

Finnish tourism down €2 million

Despite the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions, the Finnish tourism sector is in big trouble. The sector has hit the capital city of Helsinki especially hard.

Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development for Helsinki said: "We will miss out on an estimate of €2 million euros this year from the tourism sector."

Due to travel restrictions coming from the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of tourists have not been able to enter the country. That number is increasing as time goes on.

Rinkineva added: "Foreign tourists make up around half of our yearly visitors. The decision to relax restrictions on Thursday [between Finland and the Baltics, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland] will not even it out."

Compared to a regular year, the city of Helsinki will miss out on over half a million tourists off cruise tourists and conference visitors alone.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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