The coronavirus outbreak is suspending ferry travel and closing restaurants.

Viking Line Gabriella in dock in Helsinki. Stock picture: Rene Schwietzke/Flickr

According to ferry company Viking Line, Helsinki-Stockholm and Stockholm-Helsinki sailings on Gabriella and Mariella are suspended between March 18-April 13, 2020.

The last sailing from Helsinki is on March 17, the last sailing from Stockholm is on March 18.

According to Viking Line, journeys affected can be rebooked or canceled at no additional cost but their customer service is heavily congested. Refunds of canceled trips can, according to the ferry company, “take much longer than usual.”

To ensure the continuous movement of goods between Finland and Sweden, the ferry traffic will continue between Turku-Ahvenanmaa-Stockholm and for the same reason travel between Tallinn-Helsinki will continue once a day.

Tallink Grupp

Ferry company Tallink Grupp announces it will temporarily suspend the operation of its Helsinki-Stockholm route vessels Silja Serenade and Silja Symphony.

Both vessels will temporarily make their final departures on March 18, 2020, and will thereafter remain suspended in the ports of their respective flag states until the end of the emergency state in Finland and the termination of travel restrictions.

Passengers in need to contact Talling Grupp’s customer service should expect congestion.

From Stockholm, only passengers who have the right to enter Finland or the right to use Finland as a transit corridor (e.g. citizens of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia), are allowed to board Silja Serenade traveling to Helsinki.

Cargo transporters are allowed to board both vessels without restrictions as the governments have agreed to allow cargo transport passengers on board vessels without restrictions to ensure the continuous movement of goods between European countries.

S Group

While small companies are struggling to make the ends meet during the outbreak, the pandemic is affecting major retailers as well. S Group, a customer-owned Finnish network of companies in the retail and service sectors, is closing all 82 restaurants of its largest retail cooperative, HOK-Elanto.

According to HOK-Elanto, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the demand for food has almost completely shifted from restaurants to the home table. Therefore, the personnel—a total of about 800—will for the time being start working in the 200 stores owned by S Group, which for example include Prisma, S-market and Alepa.