Business travel during COVID-19: topical information about entry restrictions on the websites of Finnish missions abroad
To support people travelling on essential business during the coronavirus pandemic, Finnish missions abroad keep their websites updated on local travel restrictions. Rules and guidance in different countries can change rapidly, which is why the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises people travelling on business to always check the official website of the country of destination, to consider whether the trip is essential, and to act responsibly.
Finns in Greece: Petra Pakkanen returns to Athens like Odysseus to his home
Petra Pakkanen, Director of the Finnish Institute at Athens, has returned to Athens after a twenty-year break. She thinks the best thing about Greece is light, both in the sky and in people's minds. Petra's enthusiasm for classical studies began with studying Latin in Kajaani and has taken her to Greece and to many other countries as a scholar. Her own current research concerns tanning of leather in ancient Greece, and through that we learn that also in Finland there is a long tradition of tanning and within it for example a specialty of tanning fish skin.
The exceptional circumstances of 2020 showed in consular assistance
In 2020, the Unit for Consular Assistance provided nearly twice as much guidance compared to the previous year. In the spring, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, personal guidance and advice were given to tens of thousands of travellers stranded abroad. Thousands of travellers were assisted in returning to Finland after air traffic ground to a sudden halt.
Finns in Greece: Erik Polus works at Beat, sees Finnish culture in his ideal working style and promotes Greece as a great place for a career in tech
Erik Polus was born and spent his early childhood years in Finland, grew up in California and studied at UC Berkeley. After nearly a decade in New York’s start-up scene, he ended up in Athens to work at TaxiBeat (now Beat), which represents the field of digital businesses that is in high demand as the follow-up of the Covid outbreak. Despite much of his life in the US, he considers his practical, dry, logical, and business-first attitude to represent the Finnishness in him. During the Greek lockdown in the spring, he spent four months with his family in Finland and refreshed his Finnish language skills and mindset.
Finland seeks membership of UN Human Rights Council
Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2022–2024. The campaign slogan: ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”, underscores the universal nature of human rights. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021.
Changes to travel recommendations: avoid all travel to Brazil, India and South Africa
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs urges to avoid all travel to the Brazil, India and South Africa in accordance with the recommendation of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. For all other countries, the Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid all but essential travel.
Finns in Greece: Tim Sparv plays football in Larissa and is the captain of Finnish National Team
We introduce interesting Finns in Greece in a series of articles. Tim Sparv is the captain of the Finnish National Football team, who lives and plays in Larissa for the time being. Under the Covid lockdown we had an e-mail chat with him. Read here what Tim thinks about life and football in Finland and Greece and raising his newborn baby in a multinational atmosphere. The mother is Czech, the father belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland and the family lives in Greece, so the daughter can hear up to six languages a day. Along the languages, the importance of hard work and being humble are some of the core values the father will teach her.
Changes to travel recommendations: avoid all travel to United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs urges to avoid all travel to the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa in accordance with the recommendation of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. For all other countries, the Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid all but essential travel.
Applying for a visa during the COVID-19 pandemic on the basis of family ties or an established relationship
All Finnish missions abroad responsible for entry matters accept visa applications submitted by representatives of defined special groups. Representatives of such special groups include, for example, persons applying for a visa on the basis of family ties or an established relationship. The conditions for issuing a visa under the Schengen Visa Code must also be met.
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