Coronavirus news from abroad
Entry restrictions and travel recommendations tightened – continue to avoid non-essential travel
In its informal meeting on 18 August, the Government outlined changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Restrictions on internal and external border traffic will be reinstated based on an epidemiological assessment. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway and Denmark. Restrictions on external border traffic will be reinstated for traffic into Finland from Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino, as well as to Japanese residents in traffic arriving in Finland from Japan.
Visa applications in exceptional cases accepted by missions in limited manner
In accordance with the Government decision, the amendments to the entry restrictions entered into force on 10 August 2020. Insofar as external border control continues, the accepted criteria for entry are the return of persons living in Finland or in another EU or Schengen country and other essential reasons. As of 10 August, an established relationship is also considered an essential reason for entry on the basis of which a visa can be applied for.
Changes to entry restrictions and travel recommendations; continue to avoid non-essential travel
At its session on 6 August, the Government decided on changes to border traffic restrictions and travel recommendations. Internal border control will be reinstated for traffic between Finland and the Netherlands, Andorra and Belgium. All persons returning from abroad must take note of the quarantine instructions provided by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Finland supports Iraq’s fight against the spread of coronavirus
Finland has committed EUR 2 million to support Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is part of Finland’s development cooperation carried out in Iraq. The funds will be channelled to Iraq via the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), administered by UNDP.
Government plans to lift restrictions on tourism
The Government plans to lift the internal border control from 13 July for those countries where the incidence of COVID-19 is at a sufficiently low level. Based on the current development of the epidemic, internal border control could be lifted for the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Everyone has the right to leave Finland; however, non-essential travel should be avoided
Coronavirus and its spread are still a global risk. Starting on 15 June, internal border control and quarantine recommendations will change in respect of certain countries, but it is recommended to avoid non-essential travel to other countries. The changes will apply to travel to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Although Finland has abandoned internal border controls and quarantine recommendations for certain countries, the country of destination may have its own restrictions on the entry of tourists. Always check the up-to-date entry regulations from the authorities of the country of destination, for example from the country’s nearest mission.
The pandemic underscores the importance of Internet freedom
Fighting the pandemic requires access to factual information on the Internet. How to bridge the divide between the digital haves and have-nots? How to defend the rule of law and human rights in these exceptional times? These were some of the questions debated in the panel discussion marking the publication of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Joint Statement on COVID-19 and Internet Freedom.
EU development ministers discuss ways of supporting partner countries in the pandemic
On 8 June, EU development ministers will continue discussions on the EU's joint support for partner countries in responding to the effects of the coronavirus. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Foreign Ministry’s repatriation flights have ended
The repatriation flights arranged by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis have ended. Altogether 16 flights were carried out, with a total of 3,227 tourists returning to Finland or through Finland to their home country in Europe. Around 2,000 of the passengers on the flights were tourists returning to Finland.
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