Finavia, the company responsible for managing Finland’s airport network, has further strengthened its Covid-19 guidelines in a bid to protect passengers and staff from the pandemic.

The new guidelines make it mandatory to wear a face mask for the entire time the passengers and other visitors are at the airport.

However, travellers who are unable to wear a mask due to health issues and children below seven years are exempted from the directive.

The move is also expected to help in regaining customer confidence after travel demand plummeted following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Finavia CEO Kimmo Mäki said: “Our country needs good flight connections to promote trade relations and export.

“Our prosperity and competitiveness are entirely dependent on foreign trade, and the demand for domestic travel is not able to replace the commercial revenues earned from international tourism. Without flight connections, we are in trouble.”

As part of its efforts, Finavia organised a Face Mask Day at Helsinki Airport and distributed face masks for free to the passengers who were not wearing one.

Finavia first issued a recommendation on the use of face masks in May. It also commenced enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the airports, as well as Covid-19 communications in January.

In August, it launched a pilot at Helsinki Airport to test Ultraviolet C (UVC) light technology for disinfecting security control trays.

Commenting on the pilot, Mäki said: “The results have been encouraging, and we have also obtained these devices for the security control points at Rovaniemi Airport and Oulu Airport.”