Estonian employers ask the Finnish PM to allow workers move between the countries

The Estonian Employers’ Confederation has sent a letter to the Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin, asking her to allow workers move between Estonia and Finland.

According to the organisation, the industrial, service and construction sectors are most affected by the temporary restrictions for the cross-border movements of workers.

“Estonia has experience with cross-border movements of workers with Latvia. The agreement, that was made on March 20, 2020 between the two governments, allows workers to cross the border for purpose of employment, and removes the need for the workers to remain in quarantine for two weeks after crossing the border due to employment related travel.”

“The statistics have shown that following all restrictions and precautionary measures, the free movement of workers has not raised the COVID-19 cases in the border cities. Estonia has followed all the restrictions measurements, similarly to Finland, and the level of COVID- 19 cases are decreasing,” the confederation said in its letter.

Finland and Estonia should be a single economic space

“Following this positive example, we are proposing Finland to consider easing the restrictions for border crossing and allowing the free movement of workers between Estonia and Finland.

Finland and Estonia are very close, both geographically and culturally.

Finland is one of the most important economic partners for Estonia. In addition to goods, specialists also move between Finland and Estonia, and the tourism sector, which is most affected by the COVID-19 virus, largely depends on Finnish tourists.”

The employers’ confederation points out that as countries are moving towards exit plans, it would be grateful for allowing the shipping companies to start operating again as soon as possible. “The shipping companies and the tourism sector are prepared to comply with extremely strict hygiene requirements and to initially limit ship occupancy and are ready to negotiate any additional requirements for the traveling workers and tourist, in order to minimise the risks.”

A Tallink ferry crossing the channel between Helsinki and Tallinn in normal times. Photo by Karel Koplimets.

“Finland and Estonia should be a single economic space, where traffic between the two countries would be free for the citizens of both countries,” the organisation asserted.

Cover: The Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin. Photo by Jari Niemelä.

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