Is there future for tourism in Lapland? New travel rules to Finland explained! – Podcast Ep 9.
Finland announced that it relaxes travel restrictions for entering the country, but also implements new rules, and "test and enter" model. There are quite few intricate details, like the "72-hour rule", which are explained below.
We did a whole hour-long audio version of the podcast, and you can listen to it above. The video version of the podcast can be found below the text. It was aired live on 11.9.2020 on our Facebook page, and includes a vast Q&A session with our followers.
New entry rules to Finland, effective 19.9.2020
From September 20th to November 22rd you are allowed to travel to Finland from countries with less 25 positive tests per 100.00 in the past 2 weeks. The list is updated weekly. As of September 11th, the list includes these countries: Germany, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Norway, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Iceland, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein.
From November 23rd you will also be able to travel to Finland for leisure from anywhere within EU + UK (+ possibly non-EU countries) even if you're country has more than 25 positive tests per 100.000 if you can show a negative test which is no older that 72 hours. You can stay in Finland up to 72 hours without quarantine and enjoy your holiday in any way you like. However, if you would like to stay longer that 72 hours, you have to do a 2nd test locally and self-quarantine until you get the result of the test.
The "72 hour rule" and 2nd testing is heavily criticized by Lapland's tourism industry, and hopefully, they will apply enough pressure on the government to change it. However, tourist destinations are also setting up their local testing facilities in case the rule will stay in place.
It is still unclear if you have to quarantine for the first 3 days or not. One interpretation is that you can take a test on your 4th day and do a shorter quarantine until you get the result. The 2nd interpretation of the 72-hour rule by Finnish health ministry states that if you want to stay longer than 72 hours, you need to do the 2nd test immediately, and to quarantine for the first 3 days (or until you get the result). The 2nd interpretation sounds very complicated in practice, and hopefully, they will go with the 1st one. We will keep you informed once we know ourselves!
One thing to note, is that Finland did not specify how the monitoring of the quarantine, or 2nd testing will be carried out, if at all.
If your country has less than 25 positive tests per 100.000 can travel to Finland without time limit, tests or quarantine, before or after November 23rd 2020.
Watch the video of the podcast discussing new entry rules to Finland and Q&A