Finland will keep its borders closed for EU travel until the end of the summer
Finland's borders will not open in June for travel from EU member states and the Schengen area, as previously planned, as the country estimates that the epidemiological situation in the European Union has not improved, as expected.
Finland had previously set May as the deadline for re-establishing business travel in the European Union, while June was set for the opening of borders for Schengen travel. However, the strategy cannot be implemented, as only a few countries have had COVID-19 infection rates below 200 per 100.000 residents in the last two weeks.
Interior Secretary Kirsi Pimiä confirmed that the goals of the strategy to lift travel restrictions are still under discussion, but she declined to comment on whether the borders will open in June. "We do not yet have detailed information on how the restrictions will change starting next week. Everything is still in the air ", mentioned Secretary Pimiä.
Finland will keep its borders closed for EU travel until the end of the summer.
As the current restrictions will expire in a week, Finland intends to continue to apply its restrictive travel rules to all Schengen countries except Iceland. Finland's decision on border controls will depend not only on the epidemiological situation in other countries, but also on the pace of vaccination and the health measures put in place to effectively replace border controls.
On the other hand, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has drawn up a proposal that passengers arriving in Finland must present negative evidence of a PCR test, carried out before leaving the country of residence.
According to Pimiä, the next step in removing the restrictions will be to allow cross-border travel with Norway and Sweden. Travel across the Finnish-Norwegian border can be allowed until the end of the month. Instead, communities living on the Finnish-Swedish border will have to wait longer, as the epidemiological situation in Sweden is worse.
Due to the low infection rate, Finland has lifted its restrictions only for Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Rwanda and Thailand.
Finland has previously decided to extend the country's entry restriction to all travelers until 25 May, due to several strains of COVID-19 virus, and to prevent the transmission of the virus within its borders. The borders remain closed for all Schengen countries, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Poland, France, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland , Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Estonia.
In March, Finland ignored the European Commission's request to ease the restrictions, saying the existing measures are being implemented in an attempt to stop and prevent the spread of Coronavirus and its new mutations in the country. Based on Worldometer figures, Finland recorded a total of 95.054 COVID-19 cases, 929 deaths, 46.000 citizens recovered and - currently - 43.469 people are still infected with coronavirus.