Government proposes to continue temporary amendments to Communicable Diseases Act until end of June 2022
The Government proposes that the temporary provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act be extended until the end of June 2022. These temporary provisions have to do with health-secure entry into the country, the Koronavilkku mobile application, restrictions on premises and activities to prevent the spread of infections, and COVID-19 passports, among other matters.
The Government proposes to extend the validity of the provisions on temporary restrictions concerning food and beverage service businesses and on the supervision of these businesses. It also proposes to extend the provisions on special hygiene obligations for passenger transport and other services and on the temporary restriction of activities when the epidemiological situation so requires.
The regulation on the Koronavilkku mobile application and COVID-19 passports would also be continued. The regulation on the use of COVID-19 passports would be specified by making the use of COVID-19 passports to apply to public events or premises throughout their opening hours.
It is also proposed that the validity of the provisions on health-secure entry into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic be extended. People arriving in Finland would continue to be required to have a reliable certificate of recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months, of a completed and approved vaccine course or of a negative COVID-19 test taken before arrival in Finland. The obligation to undergo a test within 72-120 hours of the entry into the country would apply to people with a test certificate or people who would take a test upon their arrival in Finland or who are not fully vaccinated. As now, certain groups of people would be subject to an exemption, according to which they would not be required to present a certificate or take a COVID-19 test, but the exemption concerning countries and regions and the Government’s authority to issue decrees would be removed.
The Government also proposes that a new temporary provision be added to the Communicable Diseases Act which would oblige the municipalities to issue EU Digital COVID Certificates to people who have been vaccinated outside the EU. Finland would approve the vaccine course if the administered vaccines have been granted a marketing authorisation by the European Commission or they are listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Government proposes to amend the provisions concerning the temporary restrictions on the number of passengers in passenger traffic and the temporary closure of facilities. The statutory criteria for official decision-making would no longer include the incidence of COVID-19. A condition for applying the provision would be that there are considerable infection clusters in the area and they could pose a risk of wide-scale spreading of new infections in the area.
The Act would still include a provision on violating the obligation to take a COVID-19 test and a provision on the obligation of the State to reimburse municipalities for the costs incurred in checking certificates and conducting COVID-19 tests. In addition, the validity of the specifications to the provisions on executive assistance and the implementation of decisions would be extended.
The temporary provisions will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Liisa Katajamäki, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Maija Neva, Legal Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Silja Ruokola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, [email protected] (Act On Transport Services)