The outbreak of the Corona virus last year faded the smiles of even the happiest citizens of countries in the world, such as the citizens of Finland who were restricted from traveling abroad for non-essential purposes, such as international travelers interested in visiting this country.
Earlier this year, the Nordic region was ranked first, for the fourth year in a row, as the happiest country in the world, based on the World Happiness Report, published every year by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Networks, taking into account GDP For the individual, social support, trust and corruption, life expectancy and other areas.
However, as of this moment, authorities in Helsinki have reported more than 143,999 cases of COVID-19 in this region, prompting its leaders to maintain their preventive measures such as entry bans and other restrictions in place for months in order to keep the situation under control. Although it has caused a devastating situation for many industries, especially for the travel and tourism sector.
In any case, as the Finnish saying goes, “emergencies find the way.” After months of imposing restrictions, the northern European country recently recorded a decrease in the number of infections and, as of July 26, opened its doors to more international travelers.
These travelers now don’t have to wait for winter to visit Santa Claus Village, but instead can head to Finland for summer vacations and a wild side walk, or explore a national park that includes hiking trails. , and water sports such as sailing and swimming, as well as fishing opportunities, if they meet the required standards.
Who can enter Finland?
Authorities in Finland have opened their borders to fully vaccinated travelers who hold a valid European Union passport for coronavirus vaccination, without any restrictions.
In addition, the Finnish government decided to allow non-vaccinated travelers from countries of the Schengen area to enter the country; However, they will be tested for COVID-19. It should be noted that the rules differ for those coming from each Schengen country.
Vaccinated travelers from the Schengen area and EU countries can enter Finland completely without restrictions.
According to the Finnish authorities, travelers from the following countries are also exempt from entry rules as these regions have recently reported low infection rates of COVID-19; Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.
Travelers from high-risk countries are still denied entry to Finland
Regions that have recently reported an increased number of infections, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and Turkey, are considered to be severely affected by the disease; Therefore, citizens of these regions are subject to restrictions when planning entry to Finland. However, the rules do not affect travelers with a valid vaccination certificate.
The exemptions will also apply to citizens who need to enter Finland for “essential reasons”.
What testing and quarantine rules must passengers follow?
However, although traffic from the above-mentioned regions is permitted without restrictions, all travelers arriving in Finland must follow the recommendations set forth in the Infectious Diseases Act and all instructions given by the health authorities.
“The right of entry is granted, for example, to people who can present a certificate that they have received a complete vaccination series of a valid COVID-19 vaccine, with the last dose given at least 14 days before arrival,” the statement published by the Finnish Border Guard Agency reads.
What vaccinations do the Finnish authorities accept for travel?
On June 22, Finland released its COVID-19 vaccination certificate, which is designed to facilitate travel in the region.
Authorities in Helsinki have announced that the EU-approved vaccination is available to Finnish residents through the health portal known as Omakanta.
According to the announcement, travelers who have received doses of an approved vaccine or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine can travel to Finland without facing restrictions.
Currently, the Northern European country accepts the following vaccines as valid proof of vaccination:
Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech from BioNTech Spikevax, formerly Moderna from Moderna Biotech Spain, SL Vaxzevria, formerly AstraZeneca by AstraZeneca Ab Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) by Janssen – Cilag International NV BIBP/Sinopharm by Beijing Institute of Biological Products COVISHIELD COVISHIELD Sciences Are unvaccinated travelers eligible to enter Finland?
Although travel between Finland and other EU countries and Schengen countries has resumed, unvaccinated passengers may have to follow testing rules upon arrival.
However, the rules differ between Schengen countries.
Travelers coming from countries severely affected by the virus, such as France and Bulgaria, must get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
The authorities in Finland have made it clear that there are two test paths that travelers can choose;
If they test negative for COVID-19, no more than 72 hours before their arrival, they will only be required to take the test once in Finland within three to five days of their arrival. The same rules include people who received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to arrival. However, if travelers do not receive the certificates, they will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon entry and obtain a second test within three to five days after their arrival in Finland.
According to the authorities in Finland, the following EU/Schengen countries are currently considered highly affected by the disease; Therefore, their citizens will be required to follow the entry rules when planning to enter Finland.
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, Andorra, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Monaco, Romania, and San Marino.
The Finnish government has clarified that travel from countries that have recently reported a low rate of COVID-19 infections is not subject to any restrictions. Therefore, travelers from countries that are now considered safe can enter Finland without restrictions.
What do you expect when visiting this country?
Gatherings can be organized indoors and outdoors without restrictions on the number of participants.
“With regard to gatherings of more than a dozen people indoors, customers or participants should have the opportunity to maintain safe distances, i.e. avoid close contact. Indoors, close contact means people staying less than two meters apart for more than 15 minutes or physical contact “, the statement explained.
If more than ten people attend an indoor event or more than 50 people attend an outdoor event, the guidelines published by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare for the prevention of coronavirus infection on May 31 must be followed.
Last month, the five-year government introduced a new COVID-19 strategy aimed at removing all restrictions once 80 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against the virus.
When traveling to Finland, passengers are urged to purchase travel insurance that will help them in the midst of the COVID-19 situation and help travelers save their money in case the flight is canceled due to the deadly virus.
Travel insurance for Finland can be purchased at a reasonable price from AXA Assistance, MondialCare or Europ Assistance.
COVID-19 situation in Finland
Based on the figures published by the World Health Organization, a total of 143,999 people have been infected with the Corona virus and its new strains in Finland, so far, while 1,078 people have died.
WHO figures show that in the past 24 hours, 583 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Finland.
Authorities in Finland recently reported that travelers who are fully vaccinated against the virus and have valid proof of their vaccination will have their certificate checked at random at Helsinki airport while revealing that the country has introduced a “green line” to speed up processing of vaccinated passengers.
Previously, COVID-19 documents for travelers from other areas of Helsinki Airport were screened upon departure, upon check-in and upon arrival.
Currently, 86.5 of the adult population in Finland is fully vaccinated against the virus, according to figures published by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an effort to stem the spread of the virus, Finland has imposed lockdowns and other restrictions from mid-March 2020 and extended them several times taking into account the COVID-19 situation in other countries.
Planning to visit other EU countries this summer? Here’s what to expect
If you are planning to visit other European countries this summer, the following guides explain everything you need to know before booking your trip:
Note: This article was originally published on July 29. Since then, it has been constantly updated with the latest changes. The last changes to the article were made on October 6, in line with the latest updates from the Finnish authorities.