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Commuting across internal borders now allowed without a requirement on the necessity of the work

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 7.5.2020 14.12 | Published in English on 12.5.2020 at 15.05
Press release 37/2020
Passport control.

The Government decided on 7 May to extend the temporary restrictions on border traffic in Finland until 14 June 2020. The decision follows on from the decision made by the Government on 19 March to restore border control at internal borders, close certain border crossing points and restrict traffic across external borders.

The restrictions on external border traffic will continue unchanged until 14 June 2020. As of 14 May 2020, cross-border commuting for employment or commissions and other essential traffic will be permitted across the Schengen internal borders. A justification of the necessity of the commute will no longer be necessary. The decision will also facilitate meetings with family members and loved ones. Border control at internal borders will continue at land borders, ports and airports. 

The decision to restore internal border control has not intervened in the freedom of movement enshrined in the Constitution, according to which Finnish citizens must not be prevented from entering the country. Everyone also has the right to leave the country, unless their right to travel has been prohibited due to a travel ban or otherwise legally prohibited. However, recreational travel abroad is not recommended.

The purpose of the restrictions is to protect people's lives and health and to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus epidemic. The decision does not infringe on the rights of persons to free movement under European Union law or on anyone’s right to be granted international protection.

Persons arriving in the country to enter 14-day self-isolation

A person arriving in the country must restrict unnecessary close contacts and enter self-isolation for 14 days. Under self-isolation, the person is allowed to move between their workplace and place of residence and for other essential reasons. 

This principle does not apply to first response and emergency service personnel or to employees of the Border Guard and Customs. However, these persons must follow the general guidelines of the authorities on good hygiene practices, maintaining a safe distance and avoiding physical contact in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Persons arriving to work in healthcare and social welfare must agree with their employer on any special work arrangements. The employer must assess the risk of infection and, if necessary, make changes to the employee’s duties for 14 days from arrival in the country in order to ensure client and patient safety and the safety of the workplace.

Anyone who experiences respiratory symptoms should contact healthcare services immediately. Further instructions on the 14-day period of self-isolation will be distributed upon arrival in the country.

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