Information for South Africans wishing to travel during lockdown
Distruptions in flights from South Africa due to the new virus variant. Visa applications are only processed for essential reasons.
The office of the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria is still partly distance working, but the staff can be contacted on the same phone numbers and email addresses as usually. The contact information can be found on our website.
As of 15.00 on Sunday 28 November, Finland will restrict entry into the country at its external borders for travellers who have been in Botswana, Eswatini, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Finland. Only visa application with essential reasons can be submitted. All visa applications are submitted at VFS Global visa application center, by appointment. Appointments can be booked on VFS website(Link to another website.). Passport and residence permit applications are submitted at the embassy, by appointment. Appointments at the embassy can be booked via email ([email protected]).
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland recommends against all travel to South Africa.
Due to the new virus variant, some counties have started to set travel bans from South Africa. This has an effect to the flights departing from South Africa. At least European countries are setting the travel bans. At this point European citizens are able to fly to Finland with Lufthansa and KLM. Qatar, Turkish, British and Air France have cancelled flights. If you have flights to/from South Africa booked, please contact your airline for the most updated information. Check also the regulations of the country where you will be changing flights.
Health officials demand a health declaration when leaving or returning to South Africa. The form can be found here(Link to another website.).
Arrival in Finland
According to the Finnish Border Guard, foreign nationals with a valid residence permit to Finland are allowed to enter Finland. Same applies to people travelling for essential reasons according to the list on the website of the Finnish Border Guard.
The final decision on admitting foreign nationals to enter Finland or to refuse entry is made by the Finnish Border Guard at the time of entry on the border. More information on this site(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
Make sure to follow the health protocols when arriving in Finland. Instructions below on Finnish Institute for health and welfare website. Travellers from Southern Africa will be directed to a mandatory health check on arrival. Please also download a Finentry(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) app which gives you all the updated information about arrival. You can also book a COVID-test appointment and receive results in the app.
Other useful links related to corona virus in Finland:
-Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland(Link to another website.)
-Finnish institute for health and welfare(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) (instructions regarding covid-19 testing, vaccines and self-quarantine in Finland)
-News in English by YLE News(Link to another website.)