Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at a meeting with the Finnish Ambassador: travel restrictions are disproportionate

04.06.2021 | 14:14

Stenbock House, 4 June 2021 – Today, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas met with Timo Kantola, Ambassador of Finland, and expressed her concern about the strict restrictions on labour migration in Finland.
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“The situation of many Estonians involved in labour migration in Finland has been difficult for four months due to travel restrictions because family members have been separated from each other,” said Kallas. “Although the decision of the Finnish government made yesterday will alleviate the situation to a certain extent, only allowing air travel will not make it possible to restore normal life. In addition, it does not make sense to favour one mode of transport over another, especially when this is explained with the epidemiological situation.”

The prime minister emphasised that the spread of the virus is declining in both countries and vaccination is progressing well.

“Estonia has proposed various solutions to prove the safety of passengers. For three months now, shipping companies have been requiring passengers to show a negative test certificate as a precondition for boarding. The introduction of the digital vaccination certificate also promotes smooth and safe travel,” the prime minister added.

According to Kallas, the restrictions on cross-border movement imposed by Finland are no longer proportionate and justified in the current situation. Estonia considers that the restrictions are not in conformity with the travel recommendations jointly agreed by the Council of the European Union or the Schengen Borders Code. The free movement of people is one of the founding principles of Europe.

According to the prime minister, the fact that good relations between Estonia and Finland are being questioned in the public due to the restrictions is also a matter of concern and she expressed hope to the ambassador that a solution would be reached soon.

Government Communication Unit