Changes to travel guidance and entry restrictions due to COVID-19 situation

Changes to travel guidance and entry restrictions due to COVID-19 situation

According to the Government decision made in September, restrictions on entry may be lifted for traffic between Finland and those EU and Schengen countries and the counties on the green list specified by the Council of the EU where the incidence of COVID-19 has not exceeded 25 new cases per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days. The Government assesses the situation in different countries once a week. This news article will be updated with changes to the guidance and restrictions.

Updated 12.10.2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice continues to be to avoid all but essential travel to and from all countries. This general advice does not apply to countries for which the Government has already lifted the entry restrictions.

List of countries from which you can travel to Finland without restrictions in force from 12 October: 

  • Other European countries: the Vatican
  • Residents of non-European countries: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay 

The lists of countries are assessed once a week. Decisions on changes will be made at the Government sessions held every Thursday. This news article will be updated with the list of countries confirmed by the Government.

Day-to-day travel will still be permitted for local border communities at Finland's land border with Sweden and Norway. In addition, from Monday 28 September, travel to work in Finland will be allowed from Sweden and Estonia without a 10-day self-isolation period or testing. 

The lifting of restrictions means that recreational travel to Finland is permitted for people from these countries and that people who travel to these countries need not self-isolate upon their return to Finland.

Similarly, when entry into Finland is restricted, recreational travel from the countries concerned is not allowed. If a person enters Finland for another authorised reason, they should self-isolate for two weeks. 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.

Please also check the Finnish Border Guard’s Guidelines for border traffic. 

Avoid unnecessary travel

Finnish citizens always have the right to leave Finland if they wish to do so, provided that there is no legal impediment to this, and Finnish citizens always have the right to return to Finland.

If you are planning to travel, it is important to remember that, regardless of any border decisions Finland has made, other countries may impose restrictions on entry at their own borders which make it impossible to enter these countries. Before travelling, always check the current entry regulations in your destination from the authorities of the country in question, e.g. from the nearest mission of the country.

If you travel, act responsibly

Coronavirus continues to pose a major global risk to travel safety. Because of the pandemic, rapid and unpredictable changes are still possible. Access to health care services may be restricted. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has only limited capabilities to assist people in distress abroad during the pandemic.

If you decide to travel, you must act responsibly and follow the recommendations given by the authorities. It is still of primary importance that you maintain a safe distance of 1–2 metres whenever possible and that you wash your hands, observe good hand and respiratory hygiene, cough into your sleeve or a disposable tissue, and avoid touching your face. If keeping a safe distance is impossible, wearing a face mask is recommended. In many countries, wearing a face mask may be compulsory and failure to wear one may be punishable.

Before you travel, check the validity and coverage of your travel insurance. Now it is particularly important to make sure that the insurance policy provides sufficient coverage even when the pandemic situation is taken into account.

Before you travel, please also read the frequently asked questions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is responsible for providing travellers with appropriate health security instructions (including self-isolation). Check up-to-date recommendations concerning hygiene and safe distances and the recommendations for self-isolation on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare at Instructions for travellers and employees arriving in Finland.