Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Finland to ease coronavirus disease-related international travel restrictions Sept. 19; travel and business disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 11 Sep 2020 07:17 PM UTC
Alert Expires 21 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Authorities in Finland plan to ease coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related international entry restrictions Sept. 19 as part of efforts to restart the country's tourism economy. Travelers arriving from countries with 25 or fewer coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks will not be required to self-isolate upon entry.

Per the most recent directives, arrivals from Cyprus, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and Japan will be allowed to enter the country without restrictions. Individuals arriving from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia remain exempt from any restrictions, as are residents of Georgia, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. Authorities will reinstate entry restrictions for travelers from Italy and Hungary.

Effective Sept. 19, travelers arriving from countries or regions with higher infection rates will need to possess a negative COVID-19 test taken less than 72 hours prior to arrival. These travelers will be placed in quarantine or have the option to end their by quarantine by testing negative on a second COVID-19 test taken no sooner than 72 hours after entry. These restrictions will remain in place until at least Oct. 18. Restrictions will be applicable for travelers arriving from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland; leisure travel, with the exception of leisure boating, from these countries is not allowed.

Travel is allowed for returning legal residents, individuals traveling for essential purposes, or persons arriving for work-related or family reasons. Anyone staying in the country for less than three days will not be required to quarantine or take a second test. Group tourist tours from both EU and Schengen countries and those countries on the EU’s Green List will be allowed entry even if travelers are arriving from a country with more than 25 infections per 100,000 population, as long as the tour lasts up to 72 hours. Authorities will review the country list on a weekly basis. Travel is prohibited from all other countries unless for essential purposes; exceptions may be granted.

Domestically, authorities have permitted most nonessential businesses to reopen, including shops, catering establishments, cultural institutions, and educational facilities, though authorities recommend they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Gatherings of over 50 people remain prohibited without prior consent.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel plans and business appointments. Carry proper identification and other necessary travel documents to present at security checks. Plan for processing delays if traveling or routing cross-border freight. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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