#NordicNews on Finland’s border restrictions for EU travellers
Finland intends to keep its borders closed to EU travellers until late summer
Finland’s borders are not going to open in June for travellers from EU member states and the Schengen area, which was previously the plan. On 3 June, the government decided to extend the entry restrictions until 27 June 2021. According to the country's own assessment, the main reason for this decision is the lack of improvement in the epidemiological situation in the European Union.
Finland’s strategy targets set for travelling are still under discussion
Previously, Finland had set May as a deadline for restoring business travel within the European Union, and June was set as a target for opening borders for Schengen Area travellers. However, it was then decided to extend the country’s entry restriction until May 25 due to several COVID-19 mutations.
As a result, the once-planned strategy cannot be implemented, since only a few EU member countries report COVID-19 infection rates of less than 200 per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks. The Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Kirsi Pimiä, affirmed that the goals of the exit strategy are still being discussed, but she cannot confirm that Finland’s borders will be opened in June.
The current restrictions were set to expire on May 25 but have been extended until June 27, 2021. Finland intends to maintain its restrictive travel standards and Finnish borders remain closed for all Schengen countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Poland, France, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Estonia.
Considering the low infection rate in Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Rwanda and Thailand, Finland has lifted its restrictions for these countries only.
Decision depends on epidemiological situation and vaccination pace
The decision to open internal border controls depends on the epidemiological situation in other countries, the pace of vaccination, and the health measures implemented as an effective replacement for border controls. However, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is working on a proposal, that could enable passengers entry, if they provide a negative COVID-19 test.
Cross-border travel between Finland and Norway might be possible by end of May
The next step in ending the lockdown will be to allow cross-border travel with Norway and Sweden. Crossing the Finnish-Norwegian border could be allowed by the end of the month. The Finnish-Swedish borderline, on the other hand, will remain closed due to the more serious epidemiological situation in Sweden.