Wednesday 1/20/21
EPIDEMIC

Government extends entry restrictions to Finland until 9 February

As of January 11, entry restrictions will also be restored for residents of Japan and South Korea arriving in Finland.

A Covid-19 test point at Helsinki airport. Photo: HUS.
A Covid-19 test point at Helsinki airport. Photo: HUS.

The Finnish government is concerned as the coronavirus continues to spread in its different variants. On 7 January, the cabinet headed by Sanna Marin decided to extend the restrictions on entry into the country until 9 February 2021.

According to a joint statement by the ministries of Interior and Social Affairs and Health, "the Covid-19 epidemic is still clearly growing globally, and the number of infections is increasing in most countries more sharply than in Finland." For this reason, Finnish authorities consider it is "not justified to ease the restrictions" now.

The decision is based on the limit value of a maximum of 25 new cases of the disease per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days. It applies to Schengen countries, non-Schengen EU countries and the United Kingdom.

Internal border control

Internal border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and other Schengen countries. Restrictions on internal border traffic are in force for traffic between Finland and Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, with the exception of leisure boating.

However, day-to-day travel is permitted for local border communities at Finland's land borders with Sweden and Norway. In addition, people can come to work in Finland from Sweden and Estonia without a 10-day self-isolation period.

Crossing the internal border between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway is also permitted on ice-covered border rivers, but it will not be allowed to go ashore to the territory of another state.

In addition, residents of border communities and Saami people may cross the land border between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway (including lakes) and border rivers also at places other than border crossing points. However, the above-mentioned right does not permit them to cross the border with a motor vehicle, with the exception of off-road vehicles.

At the internal borders, the 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 10-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland. Travellers can shorten their self-isolation period at their discretion if they take two voluntary Covid-19 tests.

External border traffic

External border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and non-Schengen countries. From 11 January, restrictions on entry will also be reinstated for residents of Japan and South Korea arriving in Finland.

In all other respects, the restrictions on external border traffic will remain unchanged and be extended until 9 February 2021. Restrictions have already been lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from the Vatican, and for traffic between Finland and Australia, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand for residents of these countries.

The decision concerning lifting the restrictions for residents of China, Hong Kong and Macao will remain unchanged, provided that reciprocity is confirmed by the Council of the European Union.

People may still come to Finland from the following European countries for work or other essential reasons: Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino and the United Kingdom. The restrictions on entry for these countries correspond to the restrictions on internal border traffic. A 10-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland.

For all other non-Schengen countries, restrictions on entry permit only return traffic to Finland and other EU and Schengen countries, transit traffic at Helsinki Airport and other essential traffic.

Travel to other countries

Under 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.

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