Finland: Restrictions on entry into Finland to be tightened on 27 January

NordenBladet — On 22 December, the Government decided to tighten the restrictions on entry into Finland. The new restrictions will enter into force on 27 January and will remain in force until 25 February. The new restrictions aim to reduce cross-border traffic in order to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variants. The epidemiological situation in Finland differs considerably from that in other Schengen countries. For this reason, the risk that travellers might spread the virus variants is significant in Finland.

New restrictions on commuting across internal bordersInternal border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and other Schengen countries. As of 27 January, Finland will restrict entry from all Schengen countries.The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment maintains a list of the work that is considered important for the functioning of society or for security of supply. However, any critical task included in the list does not automatically mean that entry into the country is warranted. Employers must use a separate form to justify why the job of a worker seeking entry into Finland is essential and why the work must be performed without delay. The worker seeking to enter Finland presents this form in the border check in addition to other documents required for crossing the border.

Entry into the country permitted for essential reasons
Entry is still permitted for healthcare and rescue service personnel (including emergency medical care) and for professionals who take care of the elderly in their duties; freight transport and logistics personnel in their duties, as well as for authorities in essential duties, diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and personnel of aid organisations in their duties, as well as for representatives of states participating in international negotiations, and for persons participating in the work of international organisations.

Belonging to a border community is no longer a valid reason for entry
The previous decision will also be amended so that belonging to a border community at Finland’s land border with Sweden or Norway is no longer a valid reason for entry. In practice, this applies only to non-Finnish citizens. Finnish citizens and those living in Finland can continue to cross the border under the Constitution. Restrictions on external border traffic to remain in forceExternal border traffic refers to traffic between Finland and non-Schengen third countries. The validity of the decision made on 7 January will be extended until 25 February. The decision will be amended as of 27 January so that restrictions on external border traffic will be lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from South Korea for residents of South Korea.

Government still recommends avoiding unnecessary travel abroad
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. Travellers must be aware of the current entry and quarantine regulations of their country of destination.

Travellers should check quarantine and testing recommendations before travel Travellers arriving in Finland must take into account Finland’s quarantine and testing recommendations. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare will provide guidance on these health security measures. Information is also available on the FINENTRY service.

Finnish Border Guard gives advice on cross-border trafficThe Finnish Border Guard gives people advice on cross-border traffic by phone and email. The service will be available in Finnish, Swedish and English between 8.00 and 16.00 at +358 295 420 100. The service will also be available over the weekend of 23–24 January 2021 at 8.00–16.00.


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