Almost 20% of Finns plan to reduce foreign travel over coronavirus fears

There has only been one confirmed case in Finland but the epidemic is having an impact on travel plans for some people.

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File picture showing flight departure board at Helsinki Airport / Credit: News Now Finland

As many as 20% of Finns say they plan to reduce their overseas travel due to coronavirus fears.

A survey carried out by Rural Future magazine asked people their thoughts about the epidemic, which started in Central China but which has since spread to other countries – including one case in Finland where a tourist from China was infected.

When it comes to making future travel plans, the survey finds that almost 25% of older people aged over 64 say they’ll cut back on international travel because of coronavirus concerns; but only 9% of young people will reduce their overseas travel because of the outbreak.

More than 1100 people were questioned for the survey by TNS Kantar at the beginning of February. The margin of error is three percentage points in either direction.

Finnair has already canceled all of its flights to mainland China for the rest of the winter season through to the end of March, and cut its Hong Kong flights by 50% during the same time period.

“When fighting an outbreak such as COVID-19” – the official name of the strain – “we must be guided by solidarity, not stigma. The greatest enemy we face is not the virus itself, it’s the stigma that turns us against each other” says the World Health Organisation Director General¬†Tedros Ghebreyesus.

“In our fractured and divided world, health is one of the few areas which offers the opportunity for countries to work together for a common cause” he adds.

More than 70,000 people in China have so far been confirmed with the new coronavirus, and more than 1600 deaths reported. There have been confirmed cases in more than two dozen countries according to the Centres for Disease Control in America.

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