Changes to border traffic and travel recommendations, non-essential travel should be avoided
At its session on 23 July, the Government decided on changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. All traffic is allowed from certain non-European countries. Persons returning from abroad should follow the quarantine instructions issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Travel restrictions are further relaxed but non-essential travel should still be avoided
Finland allows recreational travel to Finland from those European countries where the number of coronavirus infections is at a sufficiently low level. People are able to travel to these countries and to return to Finland from them without self-isolation. On 15 June, the restrictions on non-essential travel were lifted for Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway and will be lifted on 13 July for Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, the Netherlands, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the Vatican.
Government plans to lift restrictions on tourism
The Government plans to lift the internal border control from 13 July for those countries where the incidence of COVID-19 is at a sufficiently low level. Based on the current development of the epidemic, internal border control could be lifted for the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Limited reception of residence permit applications to resume in Finnish missions abroad
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finland suspended the reception of ordinary visa and residence permit applications starting on 19 March 2020. The reception of ordinary visa applications continues to be suspended but activities relating to residence permit applications were gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.
Everyone has the right to leave Finland; however, non-essential travel should be avoided
Coronavirus and its spread are still a global risk. Starting on 15 June, internal border control and quarantine recommendations will change in respect of certain countries, but it is recommended to avoid non-essential travel to other countries. The changes will apply to travel to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Although Finland has abandoned internal border controls and quarantine recommendations for certain countries, the country of destination may have its own restrictions on the entry of tourists. Always check the up-to-date entry regulations from the authorities of the country of destination, for example from the country’s nearest mission.
Foreign Ministry’s repatriation flights have ended
The repatriation flights arranged by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis have ended. Altogether 16 flights were carried out, with a total of 3,227 tourists returning to Finland or through Finland to their home country in Europe. Around 2,000 of the passengers on the flights were tourists returning to Finland.
If you are travelling abroad, return to Finland!
Due to the prevailing emergency conditions based on the Emergency Powers Act, the Government has decided to restrict traffic at Finland’s external borders starting on Thursday 19 March at 00.00. Finns travelling abroad are encouraged to return to Finland as soon as possible.
Finland suspends the reception and processing of ordinary visa and residence permit applications in the missions
Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, Finland, in line with the rest of the Schengen countries, has suspended the reception of normal visa applications in Finland’s missions with immediate effect from 19 March until further notice.
Coronavirus advice for travellers: Ministry for Foreign Affairs monitors coronavirus situation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland’s Missions are monitoring the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in cooperation with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and they are in constant contact with key actors with regard to the situational picture and any necessary measures.
Updated Visa Code to apply from 2 February 2020
The EU is revising its Visa Code in order to facilitate visa procedures for travellers and to respond more effectively to the challenges posed by illegal migration. Finland will start applying the new Visa Code on 2 February 2020 together with other Schengen countries.
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