Finland prolongs existing entry restrictions for another month
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, and there are not yet adequate measures available to replace internal border controls. For this reason, and to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants, both internal and external border controls will continue until 18 March. No substantive changes will be made to the decisions taken on 11 February 2021," says the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.
Internal border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and other Schengen countries. Finland currently restricts entry from all other Schengen countries except Iceland.
The Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, which are EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are non-EU countries.
External border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and non-Schengen third countries. Restrictions have been lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from the Vatican, and for traffic between Finland and Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand for residents of these countries.
There will be restrictions on the opening hours of certain border crossing points on the western border in Lapland and on the eastern border. The aim of these changes is to concentrate cross-border traffic mainly to daytime and evening hours. This will ensure that the health authorities have sufficient resources at the border.
The objective is to guide all people crossing the Finnish border to a COVID-19 test, unless they can present proof of a sufficiently recent negative COVID-19 test, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The limited opening hours do not apply to goods transport or to necessary passenger traffic with a justified reason to cross the border outside the opening hours.
Under the Constitution of Finland, Finnish citizens and residents of Finland always have the right to return to Finland, and everyone has the right to leave Finland if they so wish, provided that there is no legal impediment to this.
However, the Government still recommends avoiding unnecessary travel to other countries, except for countries for which the restrictions on entry have been lifted. ■