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Restrictions on entry into the country to be tightened again at internal and external borders

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 20.8.2020 13.39
Press release 98/2020
Coronavirus and decisions.

Based on the current epidemiological assessment, restrictions on entry into the country will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and the following countries: Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino. In addition, the restrictions will apply to Japanese residents on flights arriving in Finland from Japan. The reinstated restrictions will enter into force on Monday 24 August.

On 20 August, the Government adopted a decision on the border traffic restrictions outlined in its informal meeting on 18 August.

Traffic to be facilitated at the land borders with Sweden and Norway

Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway and Denmark.  As has been the case until now, return traffic to Finland, commuting and other essential traffic will be permitted across the Schengen internal borders.

Traffic across border crossing points at the land borders between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway will be facilitated between local border communities, even though Sweden and Norway exceed the limit values set by the Government for the incidence of the disease. Although the European Commission has emphasised the equal treatment of Member States in the epidemic, an exception can be made with regard to local border communities.    

Local border communities are areas located on both sides of the border where people naturally cross the border on a daily or weekly basis while going about their daily lives. As a rule, this involves going to shops, accessing services and running other errands. In this case, self-isolation is not required. This concession for local border communities does not apply to holidays in another country, and more extensive travel in the territory of another country is not permitted. 

Persons crossing the border must have ordinary travel documents and be able to prove their identity. If necessary, travellers must be able to demonstrate that they reside in the territory of the border community.

The 14-day incidence rate in Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia and Estonia exceeds the limit value 8 but is currently below 10. Internal border control will therefore not be reinstated for traffic between Finland and these countries. 

Restrictions on external border traffic

Restrictions on external border traffic will be reinstated for traffic into Finland from Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino, as well as to Japanese residents on flights arriving in Finland from Japan. Return traffic to Finland, transit traffic at Helsinki Airport and other essential traffic will be allowed at the external borders.

Under section 9 of the Constitution of Finland, Finnish citizens 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 than those for which the restrictions on entry have been lifted.  

Self-isolation still recommended 

Self-isolation is recommended for all those arriving in Finland who come from countries that are still subject to internal or external border control. 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 14-day period of self-isolation. Essential travel is possible. In this case, it is recommended to wear a face covering or a face mask. Travellers arriving in the country will be given instructions on how to proceed.

At present, some of the passengers arriving in the country are required to get tested for coronavirus. The test does not mean that self-isolation is not necessary, as the person may still fall ill later. During the flight, travellers arriving in Finland from so-called high-risk countries will be informed of the pending measures in Finland. 

Travellers must be aware of the 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:

Read more: 

Citizens' questions regarding border traffic 

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