For the first time in its history, Finland might be facing some kind of threat not from the East, but from the opposite direction – the West. The 600-kilometre-long northern land border between Finland and Sweden was open well before the Schengen agreement, and people are used to commuting back and forth.
However, as the two countries are dealing with the coronavirus crisis differently, with Finland restricting and Sweden recommending, the situation has changed. Finnish authorities and politicians are now pondering whether the border should be closed for the labour force but this will have a direct impact on the Swedish healthcare system.
While the border has been closed since 19 March except for those commuting across the border for work, Finnish authorities and politicians are now wondering whether the border should be completely closed as COVID-19 cases have doubled in Finnish Lapland in the past three days. And the source is suspected to be from Sweden. Read more.
However, this is cause for great concern in Sweden, since the health care system, especially in the county of Norrbotten, depends heavily on Finnish nurses and doctors.
On Wednesday (1 April), the number of COVID-19 infections in Finland was 1,446, and the death toll 17, meaning that 0.03% of the Finnish population have been infected.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)