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Finnish Parliament approves new entry rules for visitors

Fully-vaccinated passengers will be able to enter the country test-free.

Helsinki-Vantaa lentoasema. 26.3.2021
Travel is slowly resuming in Finland. Image: Jorge Gonzalez / Yle

In a unanimous decision on Friday, Finnish MPs approved new border entry regulations, which will enable people from countries with low Covid case levels to travel to Finland.

MPs decided to ease travel restrictions before breaking for summer. A motion by independent MP Ano Turtiainen to reject the new rules did not receive support from other Parliamentarians, so the entry law's approval did not require a vote.

The legislation will remain in force until mid-October.

The progress of vaccinations prompted the government as well as opposition MPs to approve the relaxation of rules, as proposed by the Committee on Social Affairs and Health on Monday.

What the rules say

Anyone who has proof of being fully vaccinated or having recovered from Covid within the previous six months will be able to travel to Finland without having to undergo a Covid test.

Passengers that have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine will need to be tested within two to three days after entering the country. Unvaccinated travellers should take a test and acquire proof of a negative result shortly before travelling.

If travellers lack required coronavirus documentation upon crossing the border, they will be referred to get tested on site.

Travellers required to get a second test will also need to self-isolate until they have received two negative test results.

Individuals born in 2006 or later will not be required to provide Covid travel certificates upon entry.

Low-risk countries

The social affairs and health committee introduced a notable change to the government's original proposal; allowing incoming passengers from low-risk countries to enter the country freely.

Finland deems countries as 'low-incidence' when they have maximum case rates of 25 per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous two weeks. The government did not originally plan to classify countries based on the risk of virus transmission rates.

The amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act are to remain in force until 15 October 2021. After that, entry regulations will be lifted unless the epidemic situation warrants further restrictions.

It remains to be seen how coronavirus mutations, such as the Delta variant, affect the course of the global pandemic.

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