COVID-19 – For travel trade

Latest update 23.3.2021

The Koronaturvallinenlappi.fi website is maintained by the Lapland Healthcare District, Länsi-Pohja Healthcare District and House of Lapland to provide information about the coronavirus situation in Lapland and related news.

Safety information for travellers arriving at Rovaniemi in Finnish and in English (9.2.2021) Please share this with your customers in print/digital format.

Guidelines for travellers in Lapland

Traveller’s guide to corona safety

Events of more than 20 persons are forbidden in Lapland Healthcare District until 11.5.2021. More information (in Finnish)
City of Rovaniemi also recommends its citizens to avoid private gatherings with more than 20 persons.

Restrictions on entry into Finland to be tightened on 27 January

Lapland district safe travel environment instructions for travel and restaurant industries 2.10.2020

Lapland tourist destination level covid-19 risk management model 27.10.2020


General guidelines

Hand hygiene
Maintain good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap and by applying hand sanitiser regularly. Provide good hand hygiene instructions at service points and clearly mark all locations where people can wash their hands. Provide every location with sufficient amounts of soap and paper towels. In addition, place a notice for guests to inform the staff in case any necessary hygiene items have run out.

Instruct tourists to carry hand sanitiser with them anywhere they go: inside and outside, both in the city and out and about in nature. Remind visitors to use hand sanitiser in tourist information centres and all service points. Make hand sanitiser available for purchase at service points.

Place hand sanitising stations at regular intervals. If possible, encourage the use of automated hand sanitiser dispenser, as they do not need to be manually operated. The use of a pump dispenser or bottle requires manual contact. However, if the sanitizer is applied thoroughly and allowed to dry, the strong alcohol it contains will effectively kill the bacteria in all cases. When using a pump dispenser, operate it with the side of your hand rather than with your fingers. Disposable gloves do not provide adequate protection and can easily create a hygiene risk if used incorrectly à use hand sanitiser instead!

Safe distances in all operations
Adoption of new practises: inform customers and staff members about adequate safe distances (2 metres) and the number of persons allowed in each room at a time by placing signs in the rooms and inform customers in advance and once they are in the premises.

In case there are a lot of people in a room, but within the permitted limit: in addition to the safe distances, adequate ventilation must be maintained.

Adequate safe distances should be fairly easy to maintain during nature treks. However, pay attention to distances at resting places.

Face masks
Face masks should be used in public transport and in public places where it is impossible to maintain a safe distance to other people. This recommendation applies to shops, shopping centres, libraries, office buildings, theatres, museums and restaurants, among others. The recommendation applies to citizens who are 12 years old or more.
Passengers arriving in Finland from a risk area making their way from the place of arrival to quarantine or if they have an urgent reason to spend time outside the home during quarantine.
When leaving home for a coronavirus test.
The use of a face mask shows consideration!

Remote working
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health recommend working remotely to the extent possible in both the public and private sectors. This recommendation will remain in force throughout the country until further notice and will be reviewed by 30 June 2021.

Safety and well-being of staff members
Customer service points should be equipped with fixed plexiglass shields and the customer service agent should wear a plexiglass helmet or a face mask. The most important thing is comprehensive protection, so that the nose and mouth are covered. All plexiglass shields must be installed at a sufficient height to provide the agent and the customer with adequate protection. The plexiglass can be branded to suit the space and the company’s image and they can also be used for communicative purposes.

We want to protect Santa Claus and the children and adults who visit him. That is why Santa is provided with a plexiglass shield in his meeting room.

The cleaning of safari outdoor clothing and equipment
Maintain good hand hygiene in equipment rooms (handwashing stations and hand sanitiser). Ozonization, hydrogen peroxide spray or a wash at 60 degrees are all equally good cleaning methods. Hydrogen peroxide spray easier to implement: A room is needed where clothes are sprayed, spray spreads everywhere. Ozonization requires cabinet space. Frequency of use if overalls are circulated: There is no accurate data on the survival of the virus and it depends on many things. This makes it impossible to set a certain time limit. The customer must also be informed of the health and safety measures implemented with clothing.
Helmets: visors and plastic parts can be cleaned with disinfectant wipes, and their inner surfaces do not require ozone sterilisation.
Ski boots, outdoor shoes: no need for ozone sterilisation, but the exterior can be cleaned with disinfectant wipes if necessary.

Providing information to customers about intensive cleaning practices will help increase their trust. Cleaning will be easier and the hygiene of workstations will be improved if all workstations remain well-organized and are not littered with any unnecessary items. Regular room cleaning practices are sufficient excluding the rooms of coronavirus patients.

Surfaces that are regularly touched by customers (such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, pads, computers, payment terminals, etc.) must be wiped by the location’s staff every 4 hours (or every 2 hours if necessary) with e.g. disinfectant wipes. In addition to good hand hygiene practices, all shared work equipment, headphones, telephones, etc. must be cleaned with disinfectant wipes before and after each shift and, if necessary, during the day.

A good level of hand hygiene must be maintained (guidance: handwashing station and hand sanitiser). Waiters must wear masks. Customers cannot wear masks when they are eating. Adequate safe distance between tables.  Buffet tables: recommended that all food be served to customers by a member of staff at the buffet table.
Lapland district safe travel environment instructions for travel and restaurant industries 2.10.2020

Customer transport
There is no need for plexiglasses during excursion transport if the customers are not exposed. Masks, safe distances and hand hygiene are sufficient. However, a plexiglass adds to safety.

Taxi drivers have been instructed on how to transport a customer who has been tested positive. In the case of a suspected infection the minimum requirement is for the driver and the customer to wear a mask. If the test turns out to be positive, patients will receive new instructions for travel.

Each taxi company decides whether the customers must wear their own mask. It’s good for taxi companies to reflect on the policy: Would it be a good idea for the taxis to provide a mask to the customer? However, the instructions state that a mask must be worn.

Cloak rooms
Do not constitute a risk. Remember to maintain good hand hygiene.

In the light of the current data, there are no impediments to the use of saunas in Lapland.

It is important to guide the customer, for example, through websites or messages to the customer. If there are any symptoms, you should not hesitate to seek testing. Staff members should also be tested at a low threshold.
Testing is free, also for foreigners. Testing is paid for by the municipality, and the government pays the municipality for testing. If the customer does not want to be tested, the test can be imposed according to a section in the Communicable Diseases Act based on a risk assessment. In this case contact the Infectious Disease Unit.

If the customers are diagnosed with a coronavirus infection, it is important to find out where they were infected and who else may have been infected by them. This tracing work is carried out in order to prevent the epidemic from spreading. All people who have been in contact with the infected for more than 15 minutes, are exposed to the virus. Infected and exposed customers will be quarantined.

 A person with a positive test result will be quarantined for 14 days, calculated to start from the beginning of the symptoms. A quarantine can be carried out in a hotel room, however, the entire hotel will not be quarantined. The quarantined person must be catered to. In the case of a positive test result, the Lapland Healthcare District or the municipality will give instructions on how to proceed.

The exposed customers will be self-quarantined for 14 days. A quarantine can be carried out in a hotel room, however, the entire hotel will not be quarantined. The exposed person must be catered to. The Lapland Healthcare District or the municipality will give instructions on how to proceed.

The quarantined person can go outdoors, as long as there is no contact with others. The costs of the quarantine will finally be covered by the state. In general, the traveller’s travel insurance covers this. It is very important to remind travellers of travel insurance. Note! Travel insurance may differ from one company to the next. In January 2020, no travellers had problems with travel insurance. The insurance compensated for everything. There are no price estimates for quarantine and isolation, because they are determined by how they can be implemented at the destination.

Read here: Latest updates on Corona Virus

Practical travel information for the travel trade during and after the Coronavirus pandemic

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