Sunday 8/9/20

Travel restrictions remain for Swedes and major tourist countries

Check in this article the list of European and non-European states with which travel restrictions will be lifted.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives at the Estate House, for a cabinet meeting to negotiate the lifting of travel restrictions. Photo: Jussi Nukari/dpa.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives at the Estate House, for a cabinet meeting to negotiate the lifting of travel restrictions. Photo: Jussi Nukari/dpa.

The government agreed Wednesday on lifting travel restrictions between Finland and several EU and non-EU countries where the incidence of the coronavirus is low.

However, border controls and travel restrictions will continue in force for other EU member states, including neighbouring Sweden and major touristic destinations for Finns, such as Portugal, Spain, France, Croatia and Great Britain.

According to the Government Communications Department, the general rule is to reopen the borders with those countries with a maximum of eight new cases of the Covid-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous 14 days. Alternatively, the government may consider lifting travel restrictions for countries with a maximum of 10 new cases per 100,000 people.

EU member states

As of 13 July, and based on the current development of the epidemic, border controls will be lifted for the following countries:

  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland

Finland has previously abolished internal border control for traffic with Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as for leisure boating. 

EU countries restricted

Based on the epidemiological assessment, Finnish government decided to maintain internal border control and restrictions on entry between Finland and Sweden and for travel between Finland and the Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Government says these restrictions will continue to be in force "to the extent that they are still necessary due to a serious threat posed by the epidemiological situation."

Schengen borders

Restrictions at the external borders to continue with certain exceptions. In line with the government's policy, unrestricted travel will be permitted with some countries that do not belong to the Schengen area.

In this case, unrestricted travel will be permitted between Finland and Cyprus, Ireland, Andorra, San Marino and the Vatican. 

The restrictions will continue to be in force for travel between Finland and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Great Britain and Monaco.

The EU 'green list'

On 30 June, the Council of the European Union approved a recommendation (‘green list’) on the lifting of restrictions on border traffic for non-EU countries, also known as third countries.

Traffic between Finland and the countries on the green list will be opened up subject to certain restrictions if the number of new infections in the country on the list does not exceed 8 per 100,000 people during the previous two weeks.

This means that as of 13 July, travel between Finland and Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China would be permitted for work and other essential purposes for residents of these countries with similar restrictions as travel at internal borders. 

For countries on the green list where the number of infections exceeds the criterion (Canada, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia) and other third countries, the existing restrictions on external border traffic would remain in force.

Return traffic to Finland and other essential traffic will be allowed at the external borders. In addition, transit traffic will be allowed at airports. Family members of Finnish citizens may enter the country regardless of nationality. 

This situation to be reviewed approximately every two weeks. The next changes in border traffic are scheduled to enter into force on 27 July.

Berry pickers allowed

The entry of berry pickers at the invitation of companies will be permitted via both internal and external border traffic.

The entry of berry pickers from Thailand will be permitted according to the country quota previously allocated to Finland. The Thai authorities announced earlier that Finland’s quota is 3,000 pickers

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