Coronavirus situation in the UK – Customer service at the Embassy of Finland and compilation of guidance

Coronavirus situation in the UK – Customer service at the Embassy of Finland and compilation of guidance

Updated 26/5/2020

Due to the very exceptional situation with the coronavirus, the Embassy of Finland in London and our Consular Section has reduced customer service opening hours. Consular Section’s customer service will only accept customers in urgent and emergency situations by appointment.

In the UK, coronavirus infections have been reported throughout the country and the epidemic is spreading especially in London. Please follow guidance and updated information by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finnish Embassy in London and British authorities.

Please contact us primarily by e-mail. Before contacting us, please see the updated information and guidance on our and Foreign Ministry’s website, as well as our updates on our social media channels. 

Customer service at the Embassy  

Embassy of Finland in London has shortened its customer service hours due to the exceptional situation with the coronavirus. 

Please contact us primarily via email. Before contacting us, please see the updated information and guidance on our and Finnish Foreign Ministry’s website, as well as our updates on our social media channels.

General enquiries can be send via email to [email protected] and enquiries to the Consular Section to [email protected].  

If your enquiry is very urgent, please contact us by phone on weekdays from 10am to 12.30pm, and 1pm to 3pm, tel: +44 (0)20 7838 6200. 

Our Consular Section only accepts customers in urgent and emergency situations by appointment. Please book an appointment via email beforehand. Please note that we require a prior appointment for all visitors to the Embassy. We have suspended the reception of normal visa applications and residence permit applications until further notice. We will contact all customers whose appointments have been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

PLEASE NOTE: All customers are required to wear a face covering whilst visiting the Embassy.

When the Embassy is closed, you can – in the event of an emergency – contact the Foreign Ministry’s 24/7 Service Centre (Tel. +358 9 1605 5555 or e-mail [email protected]).

Guidance and information by the Finnish authorities (situation on 22/5)

  • Finnish Foreign Ministry still recommends avoiding unnecessary travel throughout the world: Coronavirus pandemic is a global threat – continue to avoid travelling
  • It is still strongly recommended that persons arriving in Finland from abroad self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Read more: Restrictions during the coronavirus epidemic
  • In accordance with the Government order, Finnish border traffic is to be restricted as of 19 March 2020. This applies to transport by road, sea and air. A Finnish citizen or Finnish resident may always return to Finland. Also foreign tourists in Finland may leave the country. As of 14 May 2020, the statutory restrictions on border traffic will be lifted in cross-border traffic across the Schengen internal borders by allowing employment or commission-related commuting and other essential traffic. Please read more here: Instructions for border traffic issued from 14th May 2020.
  • Please also note that flight connections to and from Finland have already been significantly reduced. Norwegian and British Airways have suspended their flights from London to Helsinki. Finnair aims to continue with limited flights from London to Helsinki, but changes and cancellations can occur with short notice. 
  • If you are currently travelling, please also follow information and updates by the local authorities. Please try to sort out your trip back home through your travel organiser, airline or insurance company. Contact the Foreign Ministry’s 24/7 Service Centre only in the event of an emergency (Tel. +358 9 1605 5555 or e-mail [email protected]).
  • We will also assist you the best we can, but our customer service and switchboard are very busy at the moment. Before contacting us, please see the updated information and guidance on our and Foreign Ministry’s website, as well as our updates on our social media channels. Please also follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • If you are abroad or it is necessary for you to travel, please submit your travel details at matkustusilmoitus.fi.
  • Please read further guidance regarding coronavirus by the Finnish authorities here: Information and advice on the coronavirus

UK authorities’ advice on coronavirus (situation on 22/5)

There have been restrictions on movement in place in the UK since 23rd March, in order to address the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. The restrictions were updated on 22nd May. Please follow updates and guidance by the local authorities. More information: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

  • New rules for passengers coming into the UK are due to start on 8 June. Travellers will need to share contact details, travel information, and self-isolate for 14 days or they may incur a fine (excluding a short list of exemptions). Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-announces-new-public-health-measures-for-all-uk-arrivals

  • People are recommended to stay at home and work from home, whenever possible. 
  • Most non-essential shops and community spaces, restaurants, pubs, cafes, theatres and gyms are closed. Schools have been closed across the UK until further notice for all pupils except children of key workers and the most vulnerable. Schools may be opened for some age groups from early June. 
  • People can out out, but everyone is reminded to stay at least two metres away from anyone else that isn’t from your household.
  • Please note that the guidelines and restrictions may be different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Please check the guidelines of your local authority. 
  • Later this month, travellers returning to the UK from abroad may need to stay at home in quarantine-like conditions for a certain amount of time. Please check the most current advice regarding this before travelling. 
     
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms in the UK, please contact the NHS 111 coronavirus service for guidance, primarily electronically https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/. You can also contact NHS by calling 111. Do not go to a GP or a hospital.
  • People classified as extremely vulnerable are advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks.
  • Proper hand hygiene is highly important. Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Follow the information and instructions published by UK authorities, Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response. Please note, that stricter restrictions can be announced with a short notice.

More information

Finnish Foreign Ministry: Coronavirus pandemic is a global threat – continue to avoid travelling
Finnish Foreign Ministry: Q&A about travelling and coronavirus 
Finnish Government: Coronavirus: Latest updates
Finnish Government: Government decides on recommendations to curb the spread of coronavirus 
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates

Gov.uk: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do 
Gov.uk: Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for the public
NHS: Overview – Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

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