New airport coronavirus testing option: “All the processes were very smooth”

The health information point, organised by the City of Vantaa and Finavia, offers coronavirus advice and tests for any concerned passengers.

File picture of Helsinki Airport departures hall / Credit: Finavia

Officials at Helsinki Airport say that “all the processes were very smooth” on the first day of offering coronavirus tests for arriving passengers.

Public health authorities in Finland have consistently said that mass screenings for Covid-19 symptoms at airports were not effective because they throw up too many false positive results.

However this new optional service launched on Monday, organised by the City of Vantaa and Finavia, allows passengers to easily find more information about the coronavirus situation in Finland or get a test.

“We instruct all the passengers when they arrive to Finland, and we share the information about the health information point” explains Hanna Hämäläinen, Finavia’s Head of Passenger Services and Development.

Each passenger is given a leaflet either at passport control or when they come outside the gate area by customer service agents with information about Covid-19 symptoms and anyone who thinks they have some symptoms or more questions is guided towards the new health information desk.

The actual coronavirus tests are not administered at the terminal, but nearby.

“It is all very private. The health information point is in the terminal area. The testing area is restricted and it’s in one of our congress centres and the possibility to enter there is checked so nobody who doesn’t have symptoms can get in” Hämäläinen tells News Now Finland.

The health information point is staffed during flight operation hours. Tests are being coordinated through Vantaa Social and Health Service, and HUS.