Finnish health institute: Ferry travel could continue for vaccinated people

Ferries at the Port of Tallinn.
Ferries at the Port of Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Mika Salminen, head of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told daily Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday that completely vaccinated people must be able to travel from Finland to the Baltics.

There would be nowhere else to travel without vaccinations. We can trust vaccines. It makes no difference if the vaccinated person comes in contact with the coronavirus in Finland or abroad," Salminen told the Helsingin Sanomat (link in Finnish).

Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health official Pasi Pohjola told the daily that Finnish authorities monitor Estonia's coronavirus situation worryingly. "I think we should consider if Estonia is the best place for travel currently. The virus can come over our border, even if precautionary health measures work on the border," Pohjola said.

The situation is better in Finland than in Estonia. Still, the number of infections and hospitalizations has gone up, Helsingin Sanomat reported.

"It is unrealistic to presume that the infection rate will continue to decrease. It will stay on this level or will grow as winter approaches. We still have a large chunk of people who are unvaccinated," Salminen said.

THL specialist Mia Kontio said 77.2 percent of Finns aged 12 and up are vaccinated. "If the vaccination pace does not slow down, 80 percent of people aged 12 and up will be vaccinated by the end of next week," Kontio added.

There were 215 coronavirus patients hospitalized in Finland on Monday, 34 of which were in intensive care wards. "We must still remember that 80 percent is not some magical number, followed by a huge shift," Kontio said.

As of Wednesday morning, there were 525 coronavirus patients hospitalized with the coronavirus in Estonia. A record 2,025 cases were diagnosed since Tuesday morning.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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