As the prospect of a covid-19 vaccine becomes clearer, Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, and a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party has called for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. This certification will allow people to travel in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccination certificate is part of Sanna Marin’s common European strategy regarding testing, tracing, and quarantine in addition to other areas of public health.
Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin urges on a COVID-19 vaccination certificate
“Europe, still feeling the impact of prior restrictions, cannot afford a long-term economic recession with the resulting bankruptcies and rise in unemployment,” said Sanna Marin. It is no secret that the pandemic has had disastrous effects on the economy. The Finland Prime Minister has urged EU Member states to strengthen measures of contact tracing.
“Going forward, the primary responsibility for public health will continue to lie with the member states, but in an integrated Europe, a member state that has succeeded in halting the spread of the disease will not be protected unless we are all successful. Promoting a common and effective strategy is therefore the most important task of the European Union.” Sanna Marin emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Member States regarding their stance on pandemic regulations. Cross-border travel and other restrictions can only be eased if testing regimes are adopted by all states.
Finland has adopted efficient measures for contact tracing. The most notable measure taken by Finland is the Koronavilkku app, this tracing app has been developed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) to help citizens find out whether they may have been exposed to coronavirus. The app has been downloaded and used by about 50% of the population.
Testing regimes must be established
The ‘test, trace, isolate, and treat’ strategy adopted based on the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), provides a solid framework for the work regarding the testing regime. The starting point of the action plan entails extensive testing in all European states. The tests also need to be affordable and reliable so people can regularly get tested without incurring heavy costs. WHO has stressed that the Member States must strengthen these measures to prevent the second wave from shattering the already staggering economy.
Sanna Marin further stated that a COVID-19 vaccination certificate is necessary to allow for smooth cross-border travel. She also urged the EU Member States to adopt stringent cross-border travel restriction, she said these measures should only be eased when there are common testing and tracing regime established for passengers. Till the vaccine becomes available, the SOPs regarding travel restrictions must be strictly observed.
“In cases where traveling requires a negative test result, we must develop an international, secure and digital solution for collecting data on whether a passenger has already contracted the disease or, in the future, possibly a vaccination certificate,” she said.