Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on travel
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected tourism in many ways, and even experienced travellers may encounter unexpected situations. We recommend that you plan and find out about matters in advance to make sure that your journey proceeds as planned. The Consular Services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs approaches travellers in a letter with a number of tips on how to cope in various situations.
Countries around the world are affected by COVID-19 to a different extent and variants of the virus come and go. Restrictions are lifted and reintroduced – often very quickly without early warning. If you are transiting to your travel destination through several countries, you may find that practices vary from country to country. Airlines and shipping companies may also have their own regulations and restrictions for travellers. It may be difficult for travellers to find and understand the rules.
Each country makes its own decisions on the entry of travellers and the conditions for entry. Countries may also impose restrictions that everyone staying in its territory – including travellers – must follow. Failure to comply with them may lead to fines or other measures. Please contact the authorities of your country of transit or destination for more information. Always check the information before travelling.
If necessary, contact the nearest embassy of your country of destination. You can find a list of missions of foreign states in Finland at the Ministry’s website.
When you are making travel plans, please visit Re-open EU (europa.eu) to get the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in the EU and on the various restrictions in place.
Finnish missions abroad publish articles on the coronavirus situation on their websites. The articles give answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and contain links to the websites of authorities in different countries with up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation and the practices put in place in different regions.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has compiled responses to frequently asked questions on its website.
As the COVID-19 epidemic may change rapidly, you should note that travel restrictions might also change during your journey. The restrictions and guidance in place when you left may not be valid on the date of your return home.
A missing test result or a wrong COVID-19 certificate may cause delays; in the worst case, you may be asked to return to where you left.
The requirements set by your airline or shipping company may differ from the restrictions imposed in your country of destination – please check the requirements in advance.
A positive test result or exposure to the virus may mean that you will be placed in quarantine. The duration and place of quarantine are determined by the local authority. In quarantine, movement is restricted and services may be scarce. Finnish missions abroad cannot influence the duration or quality of the quarantine.
If you need medical care, contact the local health authorities. In some countries, access to treatment may have become more difficult due to strain on medical care, and you cannot usually influence the choice of treatment facility yourself.
You can obtain a European Health Insurance Card for essential medical care abroad or stay temporarily in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland. You can order it from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) free of charge.
Return home may be delayed and this may lead to unexpected expenses, caused by additional accommodation, medical expenses or new tickets. If you do not have travel insurance, you will be responsible for all your expenses yourself. In other words, before travelling, always take out a sufficiently extensive and long-term insurance, which covers medical treatment costs and medical repatriation, for example. Please check the terms and conditions of the insurance concerning quarantine in the event of exposure to the virus.
The Finnish Border Guard and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) issue instructions for travellers arriving in Finland on their website. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare also recommends that all travellers arriving in Finland from abroad take a home test after their arrival in the country if they have not been tested on arrival in the country.
We wish you safe travels,
Consular Services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs