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Helsinki promotes the possible introduction of the COVID-19 passport in the cultural, hospitality and events sectors – in an operating model to be trialled on 23 August

The City of Helsinki supports the government in promoting the rapid introduction of the COVID-19 passport. The aim is to make the COVID-19 passport available in limited and non-statutory sectors, such as culture, events and restaurants. These sectors play a key role as a source of vitality in large cities such as Helsinki and the COVID-19 passport would play a major role in opening up society and relaunching tourism. 

Helsinki has offered the state a partnership in the development and piloting of a COVID-19 passport together with Helsinki’s cultural, restaurant and event sectors. Helsinki is ready to contribute to the early development and piloting of the COVID-19 passport The passport will be developed in partnership with the government and businesses and will draw on solutions from other EU countries.

“The COVID-19 passport will allow for less severe restrictions, and its introduction would make it possible not only to make it easier for businesses to operate, but also to reduce unemployment among young people, for example. Due to the urgency and importance of the issue, we are actively seeking solutions for the implementation of the COVID-19 passport in Helsinki. We are piloting the operating model on a fast schedule and the first small-scale experiment will be carried out next week in cooperation with the event and restaurant sectors”, says Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen.  

The COVID-19 passport would improve employment, especially for young people  

The tourism, hospitality and events sectors are very important for the City of Helsinki. At the same time, they are also the sectors that have suffered most during the coronavirus crisis. For example, the turnover of the events sector in Uusimaa has fallen by almost a billion euros due to the coronavirus.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area has also been the subject of the most extensive and long-lasting coronavirus restrictions. The prolonged coronavirus crisis has had a significant impact on the employment of young adults in particular, as the tourism, hospitality and events sectors are highly important employers of young adults in Helsinki. Helsinki also has proportionally more young adults than the rest of the country. 

The introduction of the COVID-19 passport would contribute to the controlled opening of society 

The aim of the planned COVID-19 passport is to reduce the incidence of coronavirus infections associated with the physical gatherings of people and to promote the secure opening of society. The COVID-19 passport would also allow existing restrictions to be eased or new, stricter restrictions to be avoided. With a COVID-19 passport, a person could verify their own reduced risk of contracting a coronavirus infection. A passport would mean reliable proof of recovery from COVID-19, a recent negative test result or a series of COVID-19 vaccinations. Instead of a detailed certificate, the person inspecting the COVID-19 passport would only see information about the reduced risk of infection.    

The COVID-19 passport is promoted by a working group under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which will assess the conditions and needs for legislation on the COVID-19 passport and implement a possible government proposal for legislation on the COVID-19 passport. Helsinki has been invited to participate in the working group. 

One operating model will be piloted in Helsinki on Monday, August 23, 2021  

An invitational guest event will be held in Helsinki on 23 August 2021, where one possible use of the COVID-19 passport will be tested. The voluntary experiment complies with all applicable COVID-19 restrictions and utilizes a self-printed EU COVID-19 certificate from the My Kanta service or an associated QR code.