Temporary provisions of Communicable Diseases Act in force until end of June 2022
The temporary provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act will be extended until the end of June 2022. For the most part, the provisions will remain as they are at present. The President of the Republic approved the Act on Temporarily Amending the Communicable Diseases Act on 22 December 2021.
The validity of the provisions on temporary restrictions concerning food and beverage service businesses and on their supervision will be extended. 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 will also remain in force.
The regulation concerning COVID-19 passports will continue and the regulation on the use of COVID-19 passports will be amended so that their use will apply to public events or premises throughout their opening hours. A new temporary provision now included in the Act will oblige the municipalities to issue EU Digital COVID Certificates to people who have been vaccinated outside the EU.
The validity of the provisions on health-secure entry into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended. People arriving in Finland will 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 will apply to people with a test certificate or people who take a test upon their arrival in Finland or who are not fully vaccinated. As now, certain groups of people will be subject to an exemption according to which they will 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 are no longer included.
The Communicable Diseases Act specifies the cross-border health security measures, and separate provisions have been issued on the conditions for entry. In line with the Government decision of 16 December, the restrictions on entry at Finland’s external borders have been continued and health security measures have been tightened. On 21 December, the Government also decided to reintroduce internal border control at Finland’s borders as from 28 December.
The provisions concerning the temporary restrictions on the number of passengers in passenger traffic and the temporary closure of facilities will be amended. The incidence of COVID-19 will no longer be included in the statutory criteria for official decision-making. A condition for applying the provision is that there are considerable infection clusters in the area and they can pose a risk of wide-scale spreading of new infections in the area.
The provision of the Act on Transport services concerning access to timetable and route information during the COVID-19 epidemic will remain in force.
The Act still includes a provision concerning the violation of 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 will 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]
Silja Ruokola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, [email protected] (Act on Transport Services)