Coronavirus news in Great Britain

Coronavirus news in Great Britain

Restrictions on movement and gatherings remain in place in Great Britain. Restrictions have been tightened in the autumn as the coronavirus epidemic accelerates.

Updated  21.10.2020

Mobility

United Kingdom has lifted restrictions on entry to England for a number of countries and territories. Finland is currently on this list of the countries exempt from England's coronavirus travel quarantine. To find out which countries are included, please check the Government website for updated information. Otherwise you will still be required to complete a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation. Please note that the countries or territories are different depending on whether you’re travelling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. 

All residents or visitors travelling to the UK are required to provide your journey and contact details before you travel to the UK. Please check the Government website for exemptions. 

Before travelling, the traveller must consult the UK authorities' instructions for obtaining more detailed and up-to-date information. Always check the UK authorities' website for the latest information on restrictions!

Flight routes between Finland and Great Britain have been reduced to twice-daily flights between Heathrow and Helsinki operated by Finnair. British Airways and Norwegian have ceased operating for the time being. Please check with the airline prior to travelling as changes and cancellations are possible at a short notice.

Please avoid using public transport when possible. If it is essential to use public transport, wearing a face covering is compulsory.

When you leave home, you should stay at least a metre away from people not in your household and wash your hands regularly. 

There is a legal limit on the number of people you don’t live with you are able to meet, both in indoor and outdoor spaces. When meeting with people you don’t live with you can socialise in groups of up to 6. There is further guidance on meeting others safely, which includes details of exemptions from this limit, including for larger households and support bubbles.

Please check the COVID-19 Secure guidelines for workplaces.

Local authorities may also have put in place stricter local restrictions. Please check the local restrictions page to see possible additional restrictions in place in your area.

Travel from the UK to Finland

The Finnish Government still recommends avoiding non-essential travel to other than those countries for which the restrictions on entry have been lifted. External border control will continue for traffic from the UK to Finland.  If a person enters Finland from the UK for an authorised reason, they should self-isolate for 10 days. People arriving in the country may also be directed to a voluntary COVID-19 test at an airport or port. Based on a risk assessment, the doctor may place the person under quarantine.

From 1 October, travellers entering Finland from the UK for a permitted reason could, at their discretion, shorten the 10-day period of self-isolation by taking corona tests. Further information:

 

Health

It is recommended to use a face covering when safe distance of 2 metres is not possible. Currently, it is compulsory to use a face covering in public transport as well as in shops and supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices, and indoor transport hubs. You are also required to wear face coverings in numerous other public indoor settings, such as museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, and public libraries. Further information on face coverings and when to wear one is available here. 

Heathrow airport is currently trialling temperature screening in Terminal 2 Arrivals and Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 check-in.

If you feel ill, please contact the local National Health Service (NHS) and follow national guidelines. If you have coronavirus symptoms, contact NHS 111 -helpline primarily via email https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ and follow their instructions. You can also call them by dialing 111.  You can order a COVID-19 test online or by calling 119. Do not go to the hospital or doctor’s surgery.

  • More information on NHS -services: nhs.gov.uk
  • More information on travelling through Heathrow incl. temperature screening:  Heathrow.com

Services

Retailers are open, subject to certain conditions.

Restaurants, pubs, museums and other tourist destinations are allowed to open, in compliance with certain safety rules. The same goes to gyms, pools and leisure centres. Please note that restaurants and pubs have to operate with restricted opening hours.  Schools, nurseries and colleges have been opened for all children and young people on a full-time basis and universities are have been working as fully as possible from 1 September. 

More information on available services: Gov.uk: Guidance -- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do.

Sanctions for breaking the guidelines

Fines for breaking the guidelines differ depending on where you are (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). The fines start form 100GBP and can go up to 6400GBP. People who do not pay a fine could be taken to court, where they could be fined an unlimited amount.

More information on the Metropolitan Police website: Coronavirus police powers

Other

Coronavirus guidelines vary depending whether you are in England, Scotland, Wales of Northern Ireland. Please check guidelines prior to travelling to your destination.

Customer service at the Embassy

Due to the current situation, we have reduced our customer service hours.

Please contact us primarily via email.
Before contacting us, check the latest information and news on our website and that of our Ministry for Foreign Affairs as well as our Facebook and Twitter.

General enquiries can be emailed to [email protected].  
If you need assistance in consular matters, please send an email to [email protected].

If your enquiry is very urgent, please contact us by phone on weekdays from 10am to 12.30pm, and 1.15pm to 4pm, tel: +44 (0)20 7838 6200. 

The Consular Section currently accepts a limited number of customers only. All customers are required to book an appointment via the online appointment booking system beforehand (except in emergencies). For citizenship, residence permit, and visa matters, appointments must be booked via email [email protected].

You can telephone the consulate on Mondays only 10am - 11am, tel. +44 (0)20 7838 6242.

In accordance with the Government decision, we can only accept Schengen visa applications in exceptional cases. Read more: Visa applications in exceptional cases accepted by missions in limited manner

Questions related to visa matters should be sent to the Consular Section via email [email protected].

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]).