Finland will end all internal border controls on Monday, January 31, which were reinstated in late December last year to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the country.
As previously warned by SchengenVisaInfo.com on January 19, Finnish authorities will remove border controls for travelers from other EU and Schengen countries after the National Institute for Health and Welfare be concluded that control at internal borders can no longer be justified for reasons of public health. .
The same also noted that travel did not play a significant role in the development of the epidemic in Finland, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Meanwhile, at a meeting held on January 27, the government decided to extend restrictions on arrivals from third countries for another two weeks until February 14. The move means those coming from outside the EU and Schengen area will still be required to present negative test results upon arrival in Finland.
“People arriving in Finland from outside the EU and the Schengen area must have a certificate for a complete series of vaccinations or a previous infection with COVID-19 less than six months ago. Additionally, proof of negative COVID-19 test results not older than 48 hours is required. Requirement applies to people born in 2006 or earlier“, notes the Finnish Ministry of the Interior in a press release.
The following are exempted from the obligation to present vaccination or recovery certificates:
- Finnish citizens
- foreigners permanently residing in Finland
- people traveling for essential purposes such as compelling family reasons or other compelling personal reasons
However, since the Communicable Diseases Act applies to all passengers, those arriving in Finland by air must present one of these two certificates, regardless of their nationality or the purpose of the trip. Those who are not vaccinated and who have become ill with COVID-19 within the past six months must be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving in Finland. Only PCR tests are accepted.
“If the passenger does not have any of the above certificates, they will be directed to a COVID-19 test at the point of entry“, notes the ministry.
He further points out that although Finnish tourists can return to Finland without COVID-19 test results, they should be aware that their country of destination or the airline they are traveling with may have different testing requirements.
The abolition of internal border controls by the Finnish authorities comes at a time when the majority of EU and Schengen countries are moving towards easing travel, mainly after the Omicron virus variant broke. was found to be a milder variant of COVID-19, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
Another reason behind the decision is that more member states agree that travel restrictions are not doing enough to contain the pandemic, and as such it is not reasonable to keep them in place.