RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Finland will lift all Covid-19-related restrictions during February, the country’s leader announced Monday. “I understand the pain and anger. We are working to lift these restrictions as soon as possible,” Sanna Marin said after acknowledging that the restrictions hurt economic recovery and culture, adding, “During February, all restrictions will be lifted,” “gradually and in a controlled way.”
Thus, as of Feb. 1, the restrictions previously imposed on travelers from the Schengen area will disappear, and they will no longer have to present a vaccination or convalescence certificate or a negative PCR, as had been required since December.
Travelers from third countries will also no longer have to do so as of Feb. 14.
Also, starting this month, establishments serving meals will be allowed to stay open until 9 p.m. instead of closing at 6 p.m. as they did previously, and they will be allowed to sell alcohol until 8 p.m.
Other measures depend on regional governments. For example, in the Uusima and Kymenlaakso regions (southern Finland), swimming pools, gymnasiums, and other sports centers will open their doors this week. The maximum number of visitors at indoor events will be available be revised upward.
The head of government announced this at a meeting with the publishers’ association, reported state TV station Yleisradio Oy (Yle).
In neighboring Denmark, restrictions will also be lifted from February, allowing Danes without a “health passport” free access to restaurants, cafes, museums, and nightclubs, while wearing face masks will no longer be mandatory.
In Spain, it will no longer be necessary to present a COVID certificate to eat in bars or restaurants or to go to the gym in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, the British government has lifted restrictions on Covid-19 as of Jan. 27, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in Parliament, where he asserted that it was time to “live with the virus” and that measures such as the “health passport,” mandatory isolation for positive cases and the use of face masks in public places would end.