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Entry restrictions and travel recommendations tightened – continue to avoid non-essential travel

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 20.8.2020 15.46 | Published in English on 20.8.2020 at 16.31
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In its informal meeting on 18 August, the Government outlined changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Restrictions on internal and external border traffic will be reinstated based on an epidemiological assessment. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway and Denmark. Restrictions on external border traffic will be reinstated for traffic into Finland from Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino, as well as to Japanese residents in traffic arriving in Finland from Japan.

All persons returning from abroad must take note of the quarantine instructions provided by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (. Passengers should also check the Border Guard’s instructions regarding entry.

Traffic across border crossing points between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway between local border communities will be permitted.

All decisions regarding border traffic will enter into force on Monday 24 August. The Government will reassess the need for and extent of the restrictions on entry in approximately two weeks based on the epidemiological situation.  

Avoid unnecessary travel

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.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the global general advice of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is to avoid unnecessary travel. This general advice does not apply to countries for which the Government has lifted the entry restrictions and thereby the self-isolation recommendation (as of 24 August):

  • Schengen countries: Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia (until 23 August also Iceland, Greece, Malta, Norway, Germany, Denmark)
  • Other European countries: The Vatican (until 23 August also Ireland, Cyprus, San Marino)
  • Residents of non-European countries: Georgia, South Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, New Zealand (until 23 August also Japan)

A Finnish citizen, a person holding a Finnish residence permit, or a Finnish citizen residing in the above mentioned countries travelling to those countries is not required to self-isolate when returning to Finland. Please note that if you return to Finland through a country still subject to border control, you are recommended to remain in self-isolation for 14 days.

If you are planning to travel, it is important to remember that despite Finland’s border decisions, all other countries can impose restrictions on entry at their own borders, and that actual tourism in the countries may not be possible. Before travelling, always check the current entry regulations in your travel destination from the authorities of the country of destination, for example from the nearest mission of the country in question.

People returning to Finland from countries other than the ones mentioned above are recommended to self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation means avoiding close contact with others whenever possible, and staying at home. Guidance on self-isolation on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. Please note that self-isolation is recommended even if you have been tested negative for coronavirus. The health authorities may force travellers arriving in Finland to quarantine.

If you travel, be responsible

Coronavirus continues to pose a major global risk to travel safety. Because of the pandemic, rapid and unpredictable changes are still possible. Access to health care services may be restricted. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has only limited capabilities to assist Finnish citizens in difficulty abroad during the pandemic.

If you decide to travel, be responsible and follow the recommendations of the authorities. It is still of primary importance that you maintain a safe distance of 1–2 metres whenever possible, wash your hands, observe good hand and respiratory hygiene, cough into your sleeve or a disposable tissue, and avoid touching your face. If keeping a safe distance is impossible, wearing a face mask is recommended. In many countries, wearing a mask may be compulsory and failure to wear one may be punishable.

Before you travel, check the validity and coverage of your travel insurance. When you return to Finland, self-isolate as recommended.

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