Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Finland to ease further COVID-19-related restrictions from June 1; significant business and travel disruptions remain.
This alert affects Finland
This alert began 27 May 2020 12:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Jun 2020 11:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and travel disruptions
Authorities in Finland plan to continue easing restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from June 1. As of this date, public gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted, restaurants and cafes will be permitted to resume limited indoor service, and cultural sites, including museums and libraries, are permitted to reopen. Educational facilities were previously permitted to resume contact teaching as of May 14. All businesses and services permitted to resume are required to implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements.
As of May 14, border controls with Schengen Area and associated countries were relaxed to allow passage of commuter and essential traffic. Helsinki (HEL), Mariehamn (MHQ), and Turku (TKU) airports and the seaports of Helsinki, Langnas, Turku, and Vaasa are the only facilities currently accepting passenger traffic. Nationals of other countries remain barred from entry through at least June 14; the restrictions do not apply to freight transport.
All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
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.