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Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy agrees to reimburse the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa for the costs of increased COVID-19 testing capacity needed for border testing

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health 17.9.2020 13.23 | Published in English on 18.9.2020 at 11.23
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On 17 September, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy decided in favour of reimbursing the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) for the costs of the increased testing and analysis capacity needed for COVID-19 testing at the border.

The costs approved by the State aid authority will be reimbursed up to a maximum of EUR 200 million. More detailed procedures for the reimbursement of the costs will be drawn up in cooperation between the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Finance by the beginning of October.

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy requires that the terms of the discretionary government grant decision ensure that the increase in testing capacity financed from central government funds will serve all of Finland. 

Testing capacity exceeding that needed for border testing will also be made available for use by other hospital districts as necessary. The testing will be carried out in compliance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. 

The Ministerial Committee’s decision is related to the Government Resolution of 11 September 2020 on the implementation of the hybrid strategy for cross-border transport and travel and to decisions made in the Government budget session on 16 September. 

In order to be able to lift internal border controls and ensure health security at the external borders, Finland aims to introduce a testing-based model in line with the national hybrid strategy for border traffic starting on 23 November 2020. The model would replace internal border controls with health security measures without significantly weakening the epidemiological situation in Finland.

Inquiries: Pasi Pohjola, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]; Mikko Staff, Director of Finance, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]