Finland will open its borders to vaccinated tourists from certain countries after 17 months of very strict entry restrictions. The borders will officially open on July 12th, with more countries following on July 26th
Finland has had low cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic and has been almost all but closed to the world and its EU neighbors for the past 15 months.
Travelers have faced a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival since last year, and it’s been very challenging to enter for non-essential purposes. Travelers have permission from the Finnish government before entering for much of the pandemic.
However, visitors won’t need to quarantine or take a test upon arrival according to the new entry requirements, making it another straightforward European destination this summer for vaccinated tourists from approved nations.
The Finnish government will review the measures every two weeks, with the option of adding and removing countries to the list every fortnight.
The Entry Requirements
Travelers can skip COVID-19 restrictions if they show evidence of vaccination upon arrival. However, travelers will need an EU digital COVID-19 certificate or an approved health certificate to avoid quarantine and testing requirements. In addition, travelers must have received their final vaccination at least 14 days before arriving in Finland.
Visitors must use one of the following vaccines to qualify:
- Johnson & Johnson
Travelers from the following countries can enter Finland if they have proof of vaccination:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- The Vatican
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Finnish authorities were supposed to grant restriction-free entry to the following nations on July 12th, but rising cases of the Delta variant have pushed this date back to July 26th:
Currently, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are not on the entry list. Finland may add the USA and Canada to the entry list next month as cases drop and vaccination levels rise. But the United Kingdom is enduring a third wave of COVID-19 because of the Delta Variant, so this seems less likely.
Travelers under the age of 15 will not require proof of vaccination. Furthermore, Finland states that travelers in the Schengen zone who aren’t in their home country can’t travel to Finland unless they transit back through their home country before arriving in Finland. The traveler’s home nation would have to be on the approved list to avoid restrictions.
Travelers can also avoid COVID-19 restrictions if they’re residents of the above countries and have evidence of catching and recovering from COVID-19 in the previous 6 months. The evidence would need to be a certificate, and the language must be in English, Finnish, or Swedish.
The COVID-19 Situation In Finland
Finland has confirmed 97,349 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of those 97,349 cases, the country has recorded 976 deaths. Finland initially kept the virus at bay during the start of the pandemic because of fast border closures. However, cases skyrocketed at the end of 2020 because of more transmissible variants entering the country.
According to WHO data, Finland has vaccinated 75% of its population with one vaccination dose. The country has fully vaccinated 26% of its residents. The country is currently averaging around 100 cases of COVID-19, making it one of Europe’s nations with very low rates of COVID-19.
The Current Restrictions In Finland
Finland still has COVID-19 restrictions in place. For example, if travelers are visiting large cities in Finland, they will need to wear masks on public transport. Finnish authorities also recommend avoiding physical contact and maintaining a safe distance from other people. However, these restrictions are not as strict as many countries around the world.
Finland has been one of the world’s most closed nations during the pandemic. It remained closed for non-essential travel for everyone, including Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
Nonetheless, this news is a step forward to fully reopening a very popular European winter destination.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories