Turku port to begin coronavirus testing on arrivals from Sweden

Turku port to begin coronavirus testing on arrivals from Sweden

The port is Finland’s closest to neighbouring Sweden and is part of the daily commute of many citizens

Starting 7 September, the Finnish city of Turku will begin testing all those arriving from Sweden at its port for COVID-19. The Turku port is the country’s closest to the border with its neighbour, where the disease has been allowed to roam freely as Swedish authorities refused to instil a lockdown during the height of the crisis.

Trial period now, decision on permanent structure later

Coronavirus testing will commence on the evening of 7 September and will continue into the following day on a trial basis. Upon arrival, those coming from Sweden will immediately be directed to healthcare centres where they will be tested. Meanwhile, those arriving from other destinations will be led to those same centres only in case they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Currently, local authorities mainly want to see how well the system functions. Once the two-day trial is complete, they will decide on its future and whether it should be implemented on a more permanent basis.

It is worth noting that due to the comparatively worse epidemiological situation in Sweden, many restrictions on travel to and from the country are still in place. Thus, the passenger flow has been severely reduced, with the port of Turku welcoming barely around 40-50 passengers on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, authorities prefer to stay on the side of caution by implementing such a security procedure that aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city. Such local and region-specific policies also make up part of Finland’s overall approach of letting the cities and their governments decide how to best act when handling and dealing with the disease, which, in turn, would prevent the need for a country-wide lockdown in the future.



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