Finland’s government yesterday approved new rules for entry that will come into effect on July 12, 2021. Fully vaccinated tourists from EU and Schengen countries can enter from that date without any test or quarantine requirements.
Finnair will also stop requiring passengers flying to Finland to prove their Covid-19 vaccination or test status from July 26, 2021. Finnair has been the only airline flying to the country with this prerequisite in place, putting it at a disadvantage.
The new model allows free travel, regardless of vaccination or test status, or quarantine, only from countries with less than 10 positive Covid-19 infections per 100K residents over the previous 14 days. The list of counties and areas with this low current infection rate is concise.
Here’s the update from Finnair:
Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Finland freely from EU; Finnair discontinues its own covid certificate requirements
Finland’s new entry model opens up Finland for leisure travelers: travelers from EU and Schengen countries can enter Finland freely as of 12 July without any additional health safety measures when
- they are fully vaccinated, or
- have had a covid-19 infection before, or
- are born in 2006 or later, or
- arrive from a country with low virus incidence.
Those with one vaccination only are instructed to take a covid-19 test earliest 72 hours after arrival to Finland, and those without any vaccinations are required in addition to have a negative test result before departure to Finland or a test on arrival.
In line with this new model, Finnair will as of 12 July discontinue its requirement for customers to present covid certificates before boarding flights to Finland.
“With the new legislation, the requirements for entry are checked on arrival, so our customers do not need to show their certificates to Finnair customer service agent at the check-in, when their destination is Finland”, says Jaakko Schildt, Finnair Chief Operating Officer. “We continue to check the documents for those transiting to an international flight at Helsinki, per authority requirements.”
“The health and safety of our customers is a key priority for us, and we continue to have comprehensive measures in place on our flights to ensure safe travel. These include, among others, the obligation to wear a mask for the duration of the flight”, Schildt says.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommended earlier this year that all airlines with flights to Finland require their customers to show either a negative test result, a certificate of recovery, or a vaccination certificate, and Finnair has been the only airline flying to Finland who has adhered to this recommendation. With the discontinuation of this practice, Finnair does not have any requirements of its own regarding covid certificates.
During the interim period of 12-25 July 2021 Finnair will however check that customers traveling to Finland meet the Finnish entry requirements, when they depart from a country that is outside the group of normalised border traffic, as internal border control continues and leisure traffic is not yet allowed from all EU and Schengen countries during the interim period. More details on entry to Finland are available at https://www.finnair.com/fi-en/flight-information/travel-updates/travelling-to-finland-2166364
Many countries are open for travel, but continue to require covid certificates from travelers, so customers are advised to always check the requirements of their destination country from the local authorities’ website or from Finnair’s travel map at https://www.finnair.com/fi-en/travel-requirements-map.
Finnair flies to approximately 60 destinations during the summer season, with more destinations being added for the winter season.
It has been somewhat crazy that Finnair has had different rules in place for passengers compared to other airlines, making it easier for residents and nationals of Finland to enter the country using a non-flag carrier if they are not fully vaxed or with a recent Covid-19 infection or negative test.
There has been a disparity between what is required from returning nationals and residents compared to what has been STRONGLY suggested and what Finnair has followed as it is majority-owned by the government.
The Covid-19 situation has been excellent in Finland, with less than 1,000 deaths. However, there has been a rise in recent Covid-19 infection rates due to the new delta variant, but time will tell whether this will lead to higher death rates.
I am flying to Finland using Finnair from Spain on July 21st and have been following changes to entry requirements closely.