New Decree of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service enters into force on September
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has issued a Decree on Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service for 2020–2022. The new decree will replace the former Decree of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service (377/2014). The new decree will enter into force on 1 September 2020 and will be valid until 31 December 2022.
Entry restrictions and travel recommendations tightened – continue to avoid non-essential travel
In its informal meeting on 18 August, the Government outlined changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Restrictions on internal and external border traffic will be reinstated based on an epidemiological assessment. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway and Denmark. Restrictions on external border traffic will be reinstated for traffic into Finland from Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino, as well as to Japanese residents in traffic arriving in Finland from Japan.
Visa applications in exceptional cases accepted by missions in limited manner
In accordance with the Government decision, the amendments to the entry restrictions entered into force on 10 August 2020. Insofar as external border control continues, the accepted criteria for entry are the return of persons living in Finland or in another EU or Schengen country and other essential reasons. As of 10 August, an established relationship is also considered an essential reason for entry on the basis of which a visa can be applied for.
Changes to entry restrictions and travel recommendations; continue to avoid non-essential travel
At its session on 6 August, the Government decided on changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and the Netherlands, Andorra and Belgium. All persons returning from abroad must take note of the quarantine instructions provided by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
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.
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