Changes to restrictions on entry into the country
On 11 February, the Government decided to change certain entry restrictions, which will take effect from 15 February. Because the coronavirus situation in Iceland has improved, Finland will no longer restrict entry from Iceland. In contrast, entry restrictions will again apply to residents of Rwanda arriving from Rwanda. In addition, the opening hours of certain border crossing points on the western border in Lapland and the eastern border will be limited. The restrictions will remain in force until 25 February.
From Monday 15 February, the opening hours of border crossing points on the Finnish-Norwegian border and on the Finnish-Swedish border in Karesuvanto, Kolari, Muonio and Pello will be limited. The border crossing points on the Finnish-Norwegian border will be open at 9.00–21.00. The border crossing points on the Finnish-Swedish border in Karesuvanto, Kolari, Muonio and Pello will be open at 7.00–21.00. The limited opening hours do not apply to goods transport or to necessary passenger traffic with a justified reason to cross the border outside the opening hours. Other border crossing points will remain open around the clock.
From Friday 19 February, the opening hours of border crossing points on the Finnish-Russian border in Niirala, Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa will be limited. The limited opening hours do not apply to goods transport or to persons with an urgent and necessary reason to cross the border outside the opening hours.
Decisions to opening hours are made by the head of the administrative unit of the Border Guard after consulting the local and regional health authorities and, where appropriate, other authorities. Regional border guard authorities will provide more detailed information on the opening hours of border crossing points.
Aim is to reach all people crossing the border
The new restrictions aim to reduce cross-border traffic in order to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variants. There are no other adequate measures available yet to replace internal border controls. The objective of the health authorities is to guide all people crossing the Finnish border to a COVID-19 test, unless they can present proof of a sufficiently recent negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19.
By restricting the opening hours to day and evening times, health authorities can be present at border crossing points and reach all of those crossing the border. Because the restrictions on opening hours will not apply to goods transport or urgent and necessary passenger traffic, the restrictions are not expected to have a significant negative impact on the functioning of society.
Restrictions to traffic at border crossing points do not intervene in the freedom of movement enshrined in the Constitution, according to which Finnish citizens must not be prevented from entering the country. However, entry to Finland is allowed only through open border crossing points. Everyone also has the right to leave the country, unless their right to travel has been prohibited due to a travel ban or otherwise legally restricted.
More information on entry restrictions currently in force is available in the Government decision of 22 January and on the Border Guard website.
The Finnish Border Guard gives people advice on cross-border traffic by phone and email. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English between 8.00 and 16.00 at +358 295 420 100. Questions can also be sent by email to r[email protected].
Correction 22.2.2021 at 17.19 pm. The word "COVID-19 vaccination" deleted from the sentence starting "The objective of the health authorities is to guide all people crossing the Finnish border to a COVID-19 test"...