If you travel, be prepared for unexpected changes caused by COVID-19
The prolonged COVID-19 epidemic has led to an exceptional situation for travellers. This summer, borders have gradually started to open up and, thanks to vaccinations, safe and healthy travel is possible to a greater extent. Many Finns are also spending their holidays abroad. However, it is important to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and that infections are rising again in many holiday destinations popular among Finns. When travelling, it is important to act responsibly and observe guidelines in place to ensure health security.
Follow the instructions of local health authorities
When planning your trip, you should take into account the possibility of contracting COVID-19 or becoming exposed to the virus when someone else falls ill, even if you have taken the proper precautions. In such situations, it is essential that you observe the instructions and regulations issued by local health authorities. In practice, this usually means staying in quarantine for a specified period of time or until your COVID-19 test result is negative. A positive test result may be enough to delay your trip home.
Remember travel insurance
The responsibility for quarantine decisions rests with the local authorities. If your travel plans change due to COVID-19 infection or exposure to the virus, you must check the coverage of your travel insurance.
In serious cases of the disease, your ability to access the appropriate care may vary considerably from country to country. Local hospitals may have a relatively limited capacity to provide additional oxygen, for example. Finnish embassies or consulates abroad or other Finnish authorities are not able to influence matters related to the availability of or access to care. Furthermore, it is not possible to supply vaccines or medicines to Finns abroad from Finland, for example via the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Prepare for changes
You must also be prepared for rapid changes in the restrictions in place in your country of destination. For example, a curfew that comes into force during your journey may lead to major changes in your travel programme. If you take into account this and other local restrictions that may enter into force during your journey in your travel plans, it will be easier for you to react flexibly to unexpected changes.
Upon returning to Finland, you must always follow the recommendations of the national health authorities.
You must also check the restrictions and requirements for entry into your country of destination with the authorities of the country in question.
If you contract the disease or are exposed to coronavirus, you must follow the instructions of the health authorities of the country where you are staying, including the quarantine provisions.
COVID-19 may cause additional costs not only because of medical care but also because of possible quarantine accommodation or changes in flight schedules.
When planning your trip, you should check the terms of your travel insurance with regard to reimbursement for healthcare and other possible costs caused by COVID-19.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs updates its travel advice(layout.types.url.description) on a regular basis. For more information on the COVID-19 situation in your country of destination, visit the websites of Finnish embassies and consulates at finlandabroad.fi.