Finland's government has decided to extend internal border controls for a further two weeks until 25 July to prevent the spread of coronavirus or any virus variants, according to a Thursday afternoon press release from the Ministry of the Interior.
The extension is also intended to give municipalities and joint municipal authorities time to prepare for the implementation of updated health security measures under the Communicable Diseases Act.
"After this short transitional period, internal border control and entry restrictions at internal borders will be lifted," the ministry's statement said.
Internal border traffic refers to travel between Finland and other Schengen area countries.
The restrictions therefore apply to traffic between Finland and the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, France, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia.
However, leisure boating is still permitted from these countries, the ministry noted.
Internal border controls will be lifted for travel between Finland and Lithuania, Finland and Slovenia and Finland and Switzerland, based on an epidemiological assessment of the situation in each country.
Due to the continuation of internal border control, the ministry reminded travellers that the permitted grounds for entry into Finland remain the return of persons living in Finland or in another EU or Schengen country, work-related travel or other essential reasons.
People may also enter Finland -- even for a tourist trip -- from EU or Schengen countries if they can present a certificate showing they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine or evidence that they have recovered from the virus less than six months prior to entry.
Changes to external border controls
The ministry also said that restrictions on external border traffic -- travel between Finland and non-Schengen third countries -- will be extended until 22 August in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus varieties.
From 12 July, restrictions on entry into Finland will be lifted for residents of Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Kosovo, Moldova and Serbia in traffic.
Restrictions have already been lifted for traffic arriving into Finland from Bulgaria, Romania, San Marino and the Vatican, and for traffic between Finland and Albania, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macao, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan for residents of these countries.
The ministry said that these countries are considered low-risk due to the low incidence of Covid-19 cases.
From 26 July, restrictions on entry will also be lifted on all traffic arriving into Finland from Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino and the Vatican because these countries are comparable to Schengen countries in line with EU recommendations.
"Entry into Finland by residents of EU or Schengen countries will be permitted if the person has a certificate of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series received before arriving in Finland or a certificate stating that they have recovered from COVID-19 less than six months prior to entry. Cruise vessels are permitted to call at ports but passengers are not allowed to come ashore," the ministry stated.