Finland will start heavily restricting traffic over its borders on Thursday in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said. The center-left government approved legislation on Tuesday to adopt a state of emergency which the parliament is expected to approve on Wednesday, Reuters said.
“Goods and cargo transports will continue across all borders. Indispensable work-related traveling will still be possible and continues within EU borders,” Ohisalo told reporters. Permanent residents will be allowed to return and foreign travelers to leave the country.
Traveling abroad should be avoided and the restrictions are valid until April 13, according to the government. Passenger railway traffic between Finland and neighboring Russia will end tomorrow, it added. Helsinki will allow drug retailers to place sale restrictions to ensure availability for those in most urgent need and also assess whether it was necessary to restrict drug and healthcare gear exports.
Finland’s health authority had confirmed 319 coronavirus cases and no deaths by Tuesday. The total number was not reflective of actual cases as testing has been limited to certain groups only since last week.