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Capacity reduced at reception centres – Finnish Immigration Service to end contracts with seven centres

24.6.2020 13.00

The Finnish Immigration Service will end the contracts of seven reception centres. In addition, capacity will be reduced at three reception centres.

Number of vacant beds nears 1,400

This year, the number of asylum seekers arriving in Finland is about half compared to last year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new asylum applications to Finland are down to a trickle.  

Despite the low number of applications, the Finnish Immigration Service has not decided on new shutdowns of units. The reception system prepared against the coronavirus pandemic by converting unused rooms into facilities for quarantine and social isolation. 

-    ‘Generally speaking, all current reception centres have handled the response to the pandemic well. The centres have also been able to prevent the spread of the virus and have performed commendably under difficult circumstances,’ says Pekka Nuutinen, Director of the Reception Unit.

Due to the coronavirus, occupancy rate at reception centres is currently considerably below the target level of 90 per cent. The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that by the end of the year, the centres will have a total of approximately 1,400 vacant beds. 

-    ‘Spare beds are necessary, both for new asylum seekers and as a precaution against a second wave of the coronavirus. However, maintaining such a large number of unused beds on public funds is unsustainable,’ Mr Nuutinen says. 

Changes to the reception system

The Finnish Immigration Service has decided to terminate the contracts of seven centres and reduce capacity at three centres. The changes will be implemented by the end of the year.

Reception centres whose contracts will be terminated:

  • Jämsä Reception Centre, by the end of September. 170 beds
  • Kemi Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds
  • Lieksa Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds
  • Siilinjärvi Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds
  • Mänttä-Vilppula Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds
  • Punkalaidun Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds
  • Hanko Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds

Changes in capacity:

  • Rovaniemi Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 68 beds by the end of September. New capacity 200 beds.
  • Kristiinankaupunki Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 50 beds by the end of September. New capacity 200 beds.
  • Tampere Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 50 beds by the end of December. New capacity 200 beds.

The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for directing, planning and monitoring the operations of reception centres. The FIS regulates the number of reception centres and their capacity according to need.

Further information:

Further information for the media

  • Pekka Nuutinen, Director of the Reception Unit, [email protected], tel. +358 (0)295 433 037