Finland: Finnair makes move on Covid travel

Finland’s national carrier Finnair announced that it is set to accept a COVID-19 vaccination certificate as an alternative to negative test result or an immunity certificate, for traveling to Finland.

Only the first dose vaccination certificate will be required to fly with the airline to Finland from May 11, while a negative test result or a certificate of a previous COVID-19 infection record is also accepted at the same time, said Finnair in a press release.

Vaccination certificates for all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be accepted. The vaccination should be administered at least 21 days before the travel date and the certificate should include passenger name, date of birth, the name of the vaccine producer, the time and the place where the vaccine was administered, as well as the issuer of the certificate, according to Finnair.

Since late January, Finnair has required all passengers flying to Finland (except for transfer passengers) to present either a negative test certificate or an immunity/recovery certificate for boarding, in line with the recommendation by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

What’s more, Finnair will not require children under the age of 16 to show a health certificate as of May 11. However, it recommends that children between 12 and 15 years of age arrive with proof of a negative test result, in order to speed up the arrival procedure.

“Vaccines have proven their power in fighting the pandemic, and vaccination certificates will play a key role in the upcoming EU (European Union) Digital Green Certificate to ensure the health and safety of travelers,” said Kimmo Ketola, medical director at Finnair, in the press release.

As early as March, the European Commission announced that it was proposing a standard certificate, or the Digital Green Certificate, which is expected to be ready before this summer. Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people should benefit from such certificate when traveling in the EU, said the commission.

Meanwhile, 275 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 91 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the WHO on April 20.