The decision was made on the basis of a statement from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The decision does not apply to other flights.

According to THL, the temporary suspension of air traffic is currently a proportionate way to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Tarkicom's CEO Jarkko Saarimäki tells STT.

In its opinion, THL considers that it can be concluded from the testing and the measures taken that there were an exceptional number of people on those flights who could spread the coronavirus and that the decision to quarantine all passengers was justified.

More than 60 people infected with the coronavirus have flown from Skopje to Finland during the late summer.

There is insufficient evidence of the benefits of pre-testing

According to THL, participation in the test in Finland has not been comprehensive and the implementation of passenger quarantine cannot be monitored in practice. Therefore, the continuation of the flight, despite the current measures, poses a risk of the spread of infections.

According to THL, the pre-testing required by Wizz Air passengers for passengers in northern Macedonia has reduced the risk of infection, but there is not yet sufficient evidence of its implementation and effectiveness.

The decision to suspend flights was taken under section 167 of the Aviation Act, and in accordance with Article 21 of the Air Traffic Regulation. According to that Regulation, it is possible to prevent or restrict air traffic due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances in order to solve unexpected and short-term problems.

Wizz Air passenger plane arriving from Skopje on the runway at Turku Airport on 18 August 2020.

Photo: Roni Lehti