The spread of the coronavirus worldwide has led the Finnish government to make a drastic recommendation to the Finnish population: do not travel abroad.
The message was released Sunday morning on the website of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The reason, according to the Ministry, is that those who travel are exposed to restrictive measures (including quarantines) at their destination and may also experience difficulties when returning to Finland.
"Many countries close their borders and impose restrictions on movement within the country. Those arriving from Finland are quarantined for 14 days in many countries. In air travel, new interruptions are announced every day. Due to this very exceptional situation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends avoiding traveling abroad for the time being. This applies to all countries."
The coronavirus (koronavirus in Finnish) pandemic is affecting tourism in an unprecedented way. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has received numerous contacts and has only been able to answer a part of them.
"Interrupting the journey and making it difficult to return due to the Covid-19 is not an emergency" in consular terms, they emphasize.
Travelers must "tolerate uncertainty"
For those who are already abroad, the Government recommends to follow the local news and try to arrange the return through their tour operator, airline or insurance company.
"Travelers are now required to adapt to the situation and tolerate uncertainty", says the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Many travelers may have to stay at their destination until air traffic resumes. "Tour operators and airlines are trying to bring Finns back home."
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Embassies of Finland are working to update the status information on their social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.