Many European countries have started to reopen for tourism and are slowly but surely returning to the pre-crisis way of life. Places have mostly reopened and restrictions have been gradually lifted. In Finland, restaurants, cafés, museums, libraries and other public places are open as usual. Although the situation in Finland is stable for now, following safety measures is still essential. Carefully read all the information below about your arrival to Finland.
This was published on August 5th (Updated on October 3rd).
For most updated information about traveling during COVID-19, always check out the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland website.
Below we have listed all the information you need to be aware of when traveling to Finland during COVID-19. These instructions will help you to have a smooth and safe arrival.
1. Before booking your flight
According to the Finnish government, work-related travel and other essential travel is allowed. Other essential travels can include for example a need to start studies on-campus in Finland or receiving a valid residence permit to enter Finland. Third-party nationals are allowed to arrive in Finland if they have a valid residence permit. The travel and quarantine restrictions in Finland are based on the country you are arriving from.
Here you can find all the countries that Finland has lifted the restrictions from. If you are arriving to Finland from these countries, you don’t need to remain in a voluntary quarantine. If you are arriving from other countries than those listed on the website, the Finnish government and health authorities recommend you to follow the 14-day voluntary quarantine to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
You might also be interested in: COVID-19 status – Finland welcomes international students
2. When booking your flight
When booking a flight to Finland you need to find out whether the Finnish government has lifted travel restrictions for your home country. If the travel restrictions are still in place, you are not allowed to travel with a direct flight and you will have to fly through another country that has opened its borders to Finland. You must wear a face mask during your flight and keep a safe distance of 1-2 meters to other people if possible. Maintaining good hand hygiene is also essential throughout your travel.
It is also important that you follow your home country’s travel restrictions and know whether you are allowed to leave the country or not. Remember to check the current entry regulations of all the countries that you’re traveling through when flying to Finland. It is good to be aware that countries may have their own restriction policies in place regarding transfer flights.
3. Arriving to Finland
When you arrive in Finland, you should be prepared to answer some questions at the airport’s border control. The questions might be related to your reason to travel, residence permit documents, host university or accommodation. We advise you to stay in contact with your host university and inform them about your arrival date to receive further information. Take a look at your host university’s website to find out if there is any essential information that you should be aware of before arriving.
In general, people arriving from outside of the EU are required to stay in quarantine-like conditions after they have arrived in Finland from abroad. In Finland, the police or other authorities do not supervise the quarantine – however, you are requested to remain in voluntary quarantine for the first 10 days of your stay. The voluntary quarantine means that you should avoid all unnecessary errands, such as shopping, restaurants and visiting the university. It is everyone’s own responsibility to follow the recommendations of health authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. In Finland, you are allowed to enjoy the outdoor areas during your quarantine as long as you keep safe distance to others.
It is essential that you try to avoid unnecessary visits to shops, restaurants and other places during quarantine. If you need to do groceries or run other essential errands, and don’t have anyone to assist you, try to avoid the busiest shopping hours between 8 AM and 9 PM. We advise you to wear a face mask during your quarantine and to take good care of hand hygiene before and after going outside. After your quarantine time has ended, it is voluntary to wear a face mask in Finland.
The Finnish government is reassessing the situation about every two weeks. To stay on track of the changing situation, we recommend you to regularly check the following websites:
August 13th: The Finnish government has issued a recommendation of wearing a face mask on public transportation, COVID-19 testing queues and when arriving to Finland from high risk areas. It is also good to wear a face mask if you are waiting for your COVID-19 test results and need to move outside your home. It is advised that you use the face mask when transporting from the airport to your accommodation. It is essential that you follow the ever-changing situation regularly through the links mentioned above. All these actions are made in order to control the spread of the coronavirus, especially in places where it is difficult to keep distance. The decision was made based on the recommendation by the Institute of Health and Welfare (THL).
4. What to do if you suspect corona-virus?
If you start feeling symptoms, please contact the local public health center or hospital emergency department by phone. It is essential that you first contact the health authorities by phone to receive further instructions. If you have a travel insurance that includes medical insurance, please contact the mentioned health provider first. If you need to get tested for the coronavirus, the health authorities will guide you with further information on when and where to be tested.
All international students are required to have health insurance in Finland. Health care services in Finland are accessible to all students. The nationwide emergency number is 112. Use this number only in genuine emergency situations.
5. For students arriving in Finland in Autumn 2020
Although all the university facilities in Finland are closed, teaching will not end! Finland has a great distance learning system and tuition is not dependent on contact learning. Finnish universities have several online platforms that enable taking classes from home. Finland is a highly technologically developed country and both students and workers can often work from home remotely. As of now, the autumn 2020 semesters at our partner universities are planned and scheduled to start online at the end of August/beginning of September. Students who are already in Finland can start the autumn semester either on the campus or online.
The Finnish healthcare system is among the most advanced in the world. In any case, whether you are with symptoms or totally symptom-free, avoid close contact with other people as much as possible! These isolation regulations apply to all people in Finland until further notice.
During these uncertain times, we want to remind you that Edunation is always here for you. We understand every concern and if you have anything you would like to ask or talk about, please don’t hesitate to contact the Edunation team!
Read Edunation’s official statement regarding coronavirus.
This article was written by our Communication Intern, Sofia!