Travel restrictions lifted for people with two COVID-19 vaccinations
As the COVID-19 pandemic has already lasted for more than a year and a half, I think we could all use some positive news about international travel. Last week we were able to receive much anticipated news that Finland, the land of saunas, northern lights and more and more beautiful landscapes—has now lifted travel restrictions from fully vaccinated travelers, including those coming from the United States.
Starting from 26th of July, Finland has reopened its borders to leisure travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with the final dose having been administered at least 14 days prior to arriving in Finland by vaccines that have been approved by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Fully vaccinated travelers need to present their CDC-issued vaccination certificate upon arrival in Finland, after which there will be no mandatory COVID-19 testing or need to stay in quarantine.
No leisure traveling for unvaccinated travelers
Still unvaccinated travelers are only allowed to enter Finland if they have essential reasons for that. The unvaccinated travelers also need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, furnish proof of recent recovery from COVID-19, or take two COVID-19 tests upon arrival in Finland. Unvaccinated minors under the age of 18 can enter Finland with vaccinated parents or guardians.
The latest updates about travel restrictions in Finland can be found on the Finnish Border Guard website. The FINENTRY online portal allows users to enter their travel information to confirm entry requirements based on their country of origin and health status, this also includes vaccination details.
Travel restrictions will continue until the end of the year
On September 21, MTV announced that the Finnish government would propose to extend travel restrictions until the end of the year. The decision is a great disappointment, for example, for the long-troubled tourism and restaurant industry.
Many other countries in Europe have slowly opened their borders and Finland’s line compared to the rest of Europe can be considered quite strict. In addition to the fact that the current situation is problematic for companies and workers in the tourism sector, travel behavior from abroad may even change permanently as a result of the restrictions. If it is not easy to travel to Finland, foreign tour operators and individual tourists can easily choose another destination.
On Tuesday, Finland’s travel restrictions received criticism from both Kristiina Hietasaari, the Senior Director of Visit Finland, and Timo Lappi, CEO of the Tourism and Restaurant Interest Group.
More than 50% of Finnish adults now vaccinated
As for where things stand in Finland regarding the pandemic, among adults age of 18 and over, 56 percent were fully vaccinated at the end of July and about 70 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccines, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
As of July 29, Finland has been reporting 467 new positive COVID-19 cases on average each day, which is about 64 percent of its peak in mid-March. Finland has had a total 104,495 infections and 978 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
In Ranua, there has only been one small infection chain during the whole COVID-19 pandemic. This means that there has been less than 4 positive COVID-19 cases in total in our small town. This is a significant achievement as especially domestic traveling has been really active in Ranua in both summer 2020 and 2021.