Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) hopes that the government will be able to reach a decision on restrictions on foreign travel no later than Wednesday. His guide for citizens in planning their vacation is to build plans at this stage on domestic tourism.
- When citizens ask for clear instructions for planning a holiday, the answer has yet to be that it is worth building their plans at this stage on domestic cottage holidays or domestic tourism. I can't say anything else at this stage, Haavisto tells BTI.
Restrictions on external border traffic are in place until June 14, meaning the government will soon have to outline what travel options are available in two weeks. Restrictions on internal border traffic have been lifted in the past due to commuting, but leisure travel abroad is not recommended.
The government, for example, has a lot to deal with due to the new amending budget, and according to the minister, it is certainly not possible to assess how the schedules for the first week will go. However, in his own view, it would be good to reach solutions by Wednesday at the latest.
- These are also important solutions for operators, such as shipping and Finnair's plans.
Tourist countries are working to save the summer season
According to Haavisto, when making decisions, it is necessary to carefully assess what is safe. He points out that the disease situation in neighboring Sweden and Russia is worse than in Finland. He believes that travel restrictions on Russia will continue for at least some time.
- Then there are those tourist countries that, due to their tourism industry, are experiencing the speed of lifting restrictions. Greece is like that, and Turkey seems to be making its own solutions and trying to save the summer tourist season, Haavisto says.
In a conversation with the Spanish Foreign Minister, Haavisto says that he has considered whether, for example, a general travel guide is available from the European Agency for Communicable Diseases, which could be used by all member states.
- These are not yet in place, so at this stage the countries are making their own solutions.
Haavisto says that the Baltic and Nordic colleagues have kept in touch a lot.
- We have been informed in a commendable way about how the Baltic countries have made their own decisions. On Thursday and Friday, the ministers of Norway, Denmark and Iceland all announced their own solutions.