Finnair is to resume flights from Finland to the UK and Ireland from today (January 25), following the lifting of a ban by Finnish traffic authority Traficom.

Finland, along with many other countries, temporarily halted flights to the UK, Ireland and South Africa shortly before Christmas, following the emergence of new, more infectious variants of Covid-19.

The ban was set to have expired today, and in a statement Traficom said that in the view of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) “health security measures at Finnish airports have been strengthened substantially following the detection of the mutations, making it possible to effectively mitigate travel-related risks”.

Finnair said that in line with recommendations from THL, it will require passengers “to present a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test result, or a certificate of a previous covid-19 infection if they travel on any Finnair flight to Finland”.

Staff will check certificate at boarding gates, and “failure to provide the required document will result in boarding being denied”.

The requirement does not apply to customers transferring at Helsinki Airport onto international connecting flights.

“This requirement complements our other comprehensive measures both onboard and at airports to ensure safe travel during the pandemic”, said Jaakko Schildt, chief operating officer, Finnair. “This is also in line with the increasing trend of countries requiring a negative test result for entry.”