Information for South Africans wishing to travel during lockdown

Information for South Africans wishing to travel during lockdown

South Africa tightened restrictions and is starting 29 December back on alert level 3 of the national lockdown. Some airlines disrupted flights to/from South Africa 21 December after the findings of a new form of COVID-virus in the country. All the landborders in South Africa are closed. Visa applications are not yet processed, except 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.

Travelling to Finland is restricted and our normal visa services are still suspended. Only the following categories of visa applications can be submitted: spouse of a Finnish citizen, established relationship or other essential reasons (e.g. a funeral). There is a limited number of appointments available. Passport and residence permit applications are accepted. All services are by appointment only ([email protected]).

International flights

South African officials allowed commercial international flights starting 1 October but starting December there has been several cancellations and changes in terms for several airlines. Changes and cancellations can be expected in the future too. If you have flights to/from South Africa booked, please contact your airline for the most updated information. 

Finnish authorities restricted flights from countries with new virus forms. The restriction of flights applies only to direct flights and therefore has no practical effect from travel from South Africa.

Health officials demand a health declaration when leaving or returning to South Africa. The form can be filled in earliest two days before departure, now also electronically on Department of Health 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.

Make sure to follow the health protocols when arriving in Finland. Instructions below on Finnish Institute for health and welfare website.

Other useful links related to corona virus in Finland:

-Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
-Finnish institute for health and welfare (instructions for self-quarantine in Finland)
-News in English by YLE News