Sun, 17 Oct 2021

HELSINKI, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The government of Finland submitted to Parliament a proposal on Tuesday on the nationwide use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, also known as the COVID-19 passport.

According to a government press release, the aim is for the amendment to the Communicable Diseases Act concerning the nationwide use of the COVID-19 passport to enter into force as soon as possible.

Local media reports said that Parliament could accept the proposal by mid-October at the earliest.

Through the use of the COVID-19 passport, the government intends to "curb the spread of COVID-19 infections at gatherings and thereby promote the reopening of society with special consideration for health security," the press release said.

The COVID-19 passport could be required in places such as restaurants, nightclubs, gyms and other indoor facilities for sports or physical activity, amusement and theme parks, museums, exhibition spaces and other similar cultural venues, according to the press release.

According to the government proposal, people aged 12 or older could be required to present a COVID-19 passport. Currently, people aged 12 or older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Finland.

Also on Tuesday, the Finnish government extended its current COVID-19 border restrictions until the end of the year. The proposal was also submitted to Parliament.

At the country's borders, people over 12 years of age would still be required to show a certificate of a completed and approved vaccine course, or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months, or a negative COVID-19 test taken before arrival in Finland.

Holders of a certificate of a reliable negative COVID-19 test taken before arrival in Finland or a certificate for the first COVID-19 vaccine dose should undergo a second test within 72-120 hours of their entry into the country. Alternatively, people should undergo a COVID-19 test after arriving in Finland and a second test within 72-120 hours of their arrival.

The obligation to show proof at the border or be tested for COVID-19 would not apply to people who have, for the previous 14 days, stayed only in countries or regions where the incidence of COVID-19 or the prevalence of virus variants does not pose a particular risk.

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