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Government decided on restrictions on border traffic starting from 15 June

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 12.6.2020 12.20
Press release 60/2020
Passport control.

On 12 June, the Government decided that border control will continue partially at internal borders and external border traffic will continue to be restricted until 14 July 2020. The restrictions will continue to the extent that they are considered mandatory due to a serious threat posed by the epidemiological situation.

These proposed decisions are part of the Government's hybrid strategy, according to which the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 epidemic will be lifted gradually on the basis of the epidemiological situation and social and economic considerations. Movement of people and traffic will be facilitated primarily between countries with a similar epidemiological situation. The Government will review the situation in two weeks' time. The Government considers it important that the matter be coordinated at the EU level. 

Changes to internal border control

Border control at internal borders will change in Finland on 15 June so that controls at internal borders will be lifted for certain countries and modes of transport. Internal border control will be abolished from 15 June: 

  • at the land border between Finland and Norway 
  • for air traffic and regular ferry services between Finland and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  • for pleasure craft, i.e. tourism by private persons on their own boat.

Internal border control will continue for traffic between Finland and other Schengen countries than those mentioned above. This means that internal border control will continue, for example for traffic between Finland and Sweden. 

Insofar as internal border control continues at internal borders, return traffic to Finland, commuting and other essential traffic will be allowed at internal borders. This may include, for example a family reason, a personal reason or travel to a property, private residence or holiday residence in Finland. Return traffic refers not only to Finnish citizens, but also to all citizens of the EU and Schengen States living in Finland and their family members, and to third-country nationals staying in Finland with a residence permit. Commuting is possible for citizens of the EU and Schengen States and the United Kingdom. 

The aim is to enable unrestricted travel from Sweden to Finland as quickly as the epidemiological situation allows. The situation is constantly being examined. Close friendships and trade relations are important for Finland and Sweden has a special status in Finland's bilateral cooperation.

Everyone has the right to leave Finland; however, non-essential travel should be avoided

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 except for Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Each and every one of us can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic by complying with travel recommendations and hygiene instructions. 

Restrictions at external borders continue

Restrictions on border traffic will continue at external borders, in other words at the Russian border and for those arriving from other third countries, until 14 July. Return traffic to Finland, transit traffic at Helsinki Airport and other essential traffic will be allowed at the external borders. Family members of Finnish citizens may enter the country regardless of nationality. 

Changes to quarantine instructions for people arriving in Finland

Starting on 15 June, self-isolation is recommended for all those arriving in Finland who come from countries that are still subject to internal or external border control. Such countries include Sweden and Russia. Self-isolation is not required if the person arrives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark or Iceland. The content of the 14-day period of self-isolation, as instructed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, will not change as such. Under self-isolation, the person is allowed to move between their workplace and place of residence. Other essential travel is also possible. 

Travellers arriving in Finland will also be informed of Finland's guidelines on hygiene and safe distances, the recommendation to avoid physical contact with risk groups for 14 days, and, if necessary, seeking medical attention and, in the future, instructions for installing the mobile app. Information is shared on many channels.

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:

More information for the media:
Jarno Lappalainen, Special Adviser, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 400 536 973 (requests for interviews with Minister Ohisalo)
Jeri Aalto, Special Adviser, tel.  +358 50 472 0725 (requests for interviews with Minister Haavisto)
Border Guard’s media service number: +358 50 456 2862