Saturday 10/16/21

Finland allows entry of people from low-risk areas without prior testing

The government published on Tuesday a list of countries and regions with an incidence of less than 10 infections per 100,000 inhabitants and will allow its citizens to enter the country without presenting certificates of Covid-19 vaccination or negative tests.
A coronavirus testing spot in the region of Helsinki-Uusimaa. Photo: ©
A coronavirus testing spot in the region of Helsinki-Uusimaa. Photo: ©

The Finnish government approved on Tuesday 6 July temporary amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act to prevent the expansion of Covid-19 cases from abroad.

As of Monday 12 July, only people who come from a list of specific countries or regions with an incidence of less than 10 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the last two weeks will be able to access Finland freely, this is without the need to show previous test or vaccination certificates.

The amendments were announced by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release. At the time the announcement was made, the incidence of the disease in Finland was 39.4 cases per 100,000 residents during the previous two-week period.

People arriving in Finland who do not come from the almost virus-free areas listed by the government will be required to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or of recovery from the disease within the past six months if they want to avoid the mandatory test.

All other persons must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken before entering the country or proof of a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine received at least 14 days prior to entry. In both of these cases, the person must also take a test 3-5 days after arriving in the country. Meanwhile, they must avoid contact with others and remain at home or in their place of accommodation until they receive confirmation of a negative test result.

If someone arriving in Finland does not have proof of full vaccination, recovery, a negative test result or a first dose of a vaccine received at least 14 days prior to arrival in Finland, they must be tested for Covid-19 twice: first, as soon as they arrive in the country and a second time between 3 and 5 days after their arrival.

List of low-risk countries

The obligation to show proof or be tested for Covid-19 does not apply to people arriving in Finland from countries or regions where the incidence or the prevalence of virus variants does not pose a particular risk. In this case, the criteria established by the government to include a territory in the list of low-risk countries or regions is that it has an incidence of less than 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The government has issued a decree on these countries and regions. They are: Australia, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, China, Macao, Malta, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, New Zealand and the Vatican, and the Norwegian municipalities of Storfjord, Kåfjord, Nordreisa, Kautokeino, Karasjok, Tana, Nesseby and Sør-Varanger.

The obligation to present a vaccination certificate or a negative test does not apply to arrivals from these countries and regions.

Government reminds that the obligation to be tested applies to people over 16 years of age and, under the Communicable Diseases Act, neglecting to undergo the required Covid-19 test is a punishable offence.

The decree will be further amended if the epidemiological situation so requires.