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Restrictions on entry into the country to be tightened due to COVID-19

Ministry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of the Interior 24.9.2020 13.49
Press release 110/2020
Corona and decisions.

On 24 September, the Government adopted a decision on restrictions on entry into the country, which will enter into force on 28 September. Restrictions on entry will be reintroduced for traffic between Finland and Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as for residents of Canada, Georgia and Tunisia who are travelling from their home country to Finland. Restrictions will be lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from San Marino.

Day-to-day travel will still be permitted for local border communities at Finland's land border with Sweden and Norway. In addition, from Monday 28 September, people will be able to come to work in Finland from Sweden and Estonia without a 14-day self-isolation period. 

From now on, the list of restricted and permitted countries will be reviewed on a weekly basis and updated as necessary. Changes in entry restrictions will be made based on an expert assessment by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) using data from each Monday. The limit value of 25 new cases per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days will apply to the EU and Schengen countries and the countries on the Green List defined by the Council of the European Union. Any changes will be decided on at the Thursday government session.

Restrictions on internal border traffic from 28 September

Internal border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and other Schengen countries. Starting from 28 September, entry into Finland from Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, San Marino and the Vatican will not be restricted.

As a result of the Government’s decision, restrictions on internal border traffic will be in force from 28 September for traffic between Finland and Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, apart from certain exceptions.

Day-to-day travel will still be permitted for local border communities at Finland's land border with Sweden and Norway. In addition, from Monday 28 September, people will be able to come to work in Finland from Sweden and Estonia without a 14-day self-isolation period. Leisure boating from the EU and Schengen countries to Finland will not be restricted either. 

At the internal borders, restrictions on entry allow only return traffic to Finland, transit traffic, work-related travel and travel for other essential reasons, apart from the above-mentioned exceptions. A 14-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland. Starting from 1 October, travellers may, at their discretion, shorten their period of self-isolation by taking two voluntary COVID-19 tests.

Restrictions on external border traffic from 28 September

External border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and non-Schengen countries. Starting from 28 September, restrictions on external border traffic will be lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from Cyprus, San Marino and the Vatican, and for traffic between Finland and Australia, Japan, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand and Uruguay for residents of these countries. 

People may come to Finland from the following countries for work or another essential reason: Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Monaco, Romania and the United Kingdom. A 14-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland.

For all other non-Schengen countries, restrictions on entry allow only return traffic to Finland and other EU and Schengen countries, transit traffic at Helsinki Airport and other essential traffic. In addition, a 14-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland. 

Starting from 1 October, travellers may, at their discretion, shorten their period of self-isolation by taking two voluntary COVID-19 tests.

New health security measures from 1 October 

Finland will introduce new travel-related health security measures from 1 October. These are based on the Government's resolution of 11 September. The aim is to ease the conditions for work-related travel in particular.

From 1 October, two voluntary COVID-19 tests will be recommended for travellers arriving in Finland from countries with a higher incidence and from which entry into Finland is restricted. An exception is that people from Sweden and Estonia may come to work in Finland without self-isolation or testing. Similarly, residents of border communities at the land borders between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway will not need to self-isolate.

Voluntary COVID-19 tests will allow travellers to shorten the recommended 14-day period of self-isolation. 

Residents of Finland returning from countries with higher incidence rates could, at their discretion, shorten the 14-day period of self-isolation by taking a test at the airport or port as soon as they arrive in Finland, followed by a second test in their home municipality after 72 hours at the earliest from taking the first test. 

For other travellers arriving in Finland, the recommendation will be to take the first test up to 72 hours (3 days) before arrival. The second test should be taken no earlier than 72 hours (3 days) after entry into the country. Until receiving the result of the second test, persons entering the country should remain in self-isolation at their place of residence. The self-isolation period will end if the test result is negative. If the test result is positive, the doctor will place the person in quarantine until they have recovered.

Travellers staying in Finland for less than three days (less than 72 hours) will not be required to quarantine or take a second test. 

Restrictions on entry and recreational travel

When entry into the country is restricted, recreational travel to Finland from the countries in question is no longer allowed. In this case, only return traffic to Finland, transit traffic, work-related travel or travel for other essential reasons are allowed. In addition, self-isolation and testing are recommended for travellers.

The lifting of entry restrictions means that recreational travel to Finland is permitted for people from these countries. In this case, travellers will not need to self-isolate upon their arrival in Finland or take a COVID-19 test. 

Rights of Finnish citizens and residents of Finland

Under section 9 of the Constitution of Finland, Finnish citizens and residents of Finland always have the right to return to Finland, and everyone has the right to leave Finland if they so wish, provided that there is no legal impediment to this. However, the Government still recommends avoiding unnecessary travel to other countries, except for countries for which the restrictions on entry have been lifted.

Self-isolation

According to the guidelines of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, it is not recommended to go to a workplace, day care centre or school during the period of self-isolation. Essential travel, such as a visit to a doctor, is allowed. In this case, it is recommended to wear a face covering or a face mask. Public transport should be avoided. Travellers arriving in the country will be given instructions on how to proceed.

Travellers must be aware of the current entry and quarantine regulations of their country of destination and they must take into account the quarantine recommendations for those returning to Finland. Travellers must find out themselves what their travel insurance covers in the event of a pandemic. Each traveller should check the current instructions. The entry and quarantine instructions of the country of destination on the websites of the authorities of the country of destination.

Inquiries: 

Inquiries from the public about border traffic: The Finnish Border Guard

Questions about quarantine and testing: Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

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