Finland Reintroduces Internal Border Controls, Opens Borders to Some Third Countries

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The Finnish Border Guard has announced that the country will be reinstating some internal border controls for certain Member States from 10 July 2020, according to an announcement published by the Finnish Border Guard.

The Schengen Member States’ nationals which will be restricted to only essential travel purposes only are:

  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • France
  • Sweden

Crossing over into Finnish territory from these countries will require a “border crossing permit.”

The only exception will be pleasure craft travel, such as on a private boat.

Entrants coming to see family, traveling for work, or for the purposes of essential travel are recommended to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Finland.

The Schengen Member States’ nationals that will not be subject to internal border controls are:

  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Italy
  • Hungary
  • Greece
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Slovakia

However, from 27 July residents of some third countries will be allowed to enter into Finland for tourism and other nonessential purposes. This will mean that border control has returned to normal for residents of these countries, as it was before the COVID-19 crisis caused widespread shutdowns.

Residents of third countries that will be allowed to enter without restrictions are:

  • South Korea
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Rwanda
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • New Zealand

Travelers from the abovementioned countries could be asked questions upon arrival and may be required to present documents to show proof of residence.

“In principle, those travelling on passports from the above-mentioned countries can be expected to reside in the country in question. If necessary, the traveller may be asked questions during the border check to determine his or her country of residence. As a rule, authorities assume that the traveller’s own notification of their country of residence is correct. If necessary, place of residence can be confirmed by presenting, for example, an ID or driving licence issued by the third country in question or another document demonstrating residence. In addition, residence and work permits of the countries concerned indicate a person’s residence in those countries. Other official documents that confirm the traveller’s residence may also be used to establish residence in the country in question,” the announcement reads.

Finland’s borders still have not opened to all third countries, however. For examples, travelers from the United States, Russia, China, Canada, Australia, and Turkey will still not be allowed to enter unless their purpose for travel is deemed to be absolutely essential.

Internal border closures to Finland are active from 10 August. However, it is still not known when they will be lifted.

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