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Stricter mask policy to start at airports

Published : 13 Oct 2020, 16:02

Updated : 14 Oct 2020, 02:39

  DF Report

Finavia press release photo.

Starting from Thursday, 13 October, Finavia will require all passengers and other visitors to Finavia airports to wear a face mask for the entire time they are at the airport, said the country’s airports operator Finavia in a bulletin.

Finavia issued a recommendation on the use of face masks five months ago, on 12 May. The company’s new stricter COVID-19 guidelines are aimed at protecting passengers and airport staff while also calling attention to the fact that safe travel is possible.

Finavia CEO Kimmo Mäki is concerned that the strict travel restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have practically halted air traffic and the international connections that are vital to the Finnish business sector.

“Finland is an island. Our country needs good flight connections to promote trade relations and export. Our prosperity and competitiveness are entirely dependent on foreign trade, and the demand for domestic travel is not able to replace the commercial revenues earned from international tourism. Without flight connections, we are in trouble,” said Mäki.

Finavia will organise a Face Mask Day at Helsinki Airport on Tuesday, 13 October, to promote travel safety. The company will distribute face masks free of charge to passengers who do not yet have one.

According to Mäki, buying masks and packing them for a flight is now an important part of preparing for a trip. Masks are sold at many shops and kiosks at the airport.

“There is a wide range of face masks on offer, ranging from disposable face masks to washable Moomin cloth face masks. The first mask vending machine in Finland was installed at Helsinki Airport at the beginning of September. It is located near the entrance to the terminal,” Mäki pointed out.

Finavia started intensified cleaning, disinfecting and COVID-19 communications already in January and has actively introduced new measures throughout the year.

“We are working constantly to maintain hygiene standards that are among the best in Europe. For example, in August we launched a pilot project at Helsinki Airport to enhance the cleaning of security trays by using UVC technology. The results have been encouraging, and we have also obtained these devices for the security control points at Rovaniemi Airport and Oulu Airport,” said Mäki.

We understand that there are circumstances in which the use of face masks is not possible due to health issues, for example. Naturally, we do not require the use of face masks in such circumstances.

Children under 7 years of age are not required to wear a face mask.