Tyynenmerenkatu. Illustration image.

Helsinki to test car passengers at ports as of 9 February

As of Tuesday 9 February, the passenger ports of West Harbour and Katajanokka will be offering a voluntary coronavirus test to passengers arriving in Helsinki with a car.

Testing for car passengers has been available at Vuosaari Harbour since 27 January.

While onboard, passengers are requested to fill in the symptom questionnaire and personal information form, and to prepare to present any relevant certificates with either a passport or ID card at the testing and information point. 

The coronavirus test and guidance will be offered to passengers by the car lane once they have driven their cars off the ship. For other passengers, testing and guidance services will remain available in the passenger terminals of the ports.

“It is wonderful news that our testing can now cover all passengers arriving in Helsinki by ship. This enables us to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into Finland and Helsinki through ports even more efficiently than before,” says Director of Health and Substance Abuse Services Leena Turpeinen.

“We want to make the new drive-in tests as smooth as possible for passengers arriving in cars. That said, they may cause slight delays. This is crucial, and I am confident that people understand the importance of testing,” Turpeinen adds. 

Only essential work travel to Finland is currently permitted.

Passengers arriving in Finland and Helsinki will need to present a certificate of a COVID-19 infection that has taken place within the last six months, a negative test result (tested within 72 hours) or a coronavirus test appointment booked through the Finentry web service.

A voluntary 14-day quarantine is recommended to all passengers arriving in Finland from countries where the coronavirus incidence exceeds 25 per 100,000 people measured over two weeks.

The voluntary quarantine can be shortened by taking two tests. Passengers without any of the certificates mentioned above will be guided to take their first coronavirus test in the harbour. The second test can be taken at the earliest 72 hours after the first one.

If the passenger does not take their first coronavirus test in the harbour, they must seek out testing in Finland at their place of stay or residence within a day from their arrival in the country.   

The passenger must continue the voluntary quarantine until both test results are ready and have been proven negative.

The new operating model of the harbours has been planned together with the Port of Helsinki, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finnish Customs, the Finnish Border Guard and the shipping companies. 

Further information on the travel restrictions can be found at the website of the Ministry of the Interior and on the travel practices at the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Photo: Helsinki City material bank / Antti Pulkkinen