- Information on Coronavirus
- Frequently asked questions
- Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus and business financing
- Questions and answers: Impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak on consumers
- Questions and aswers: Corona and worker mobility
- Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus and working life
- Questions and answers: Coronavirus and obligation to work in the healthcare sector
- Questions and answers: Coronavirus and seasonal work
- Questions and answers on entrepreneurs’ right to social security
- Questions and answers on support available to sole entrepreneurs
- Questions and answers on security of supply
- Questions and answers on support and compensation for the food and beverage sector
- Questions and answers: Coronavirus and travel to Finland
- Coronavirus: Guidance for businesses
- International reports on the effects of the coronavirus
- Travel in coronavirus situation
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The purpose of the restrictions and recommendations in force during the coronavirus epidemic is to slow down and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Finland, to safeguard the resource capacity and resilience of our healthcare system throughout the country, and to protect people, especially those who are the most at risk.
On 10 July, the Government decided to extend the temporary restrictions on border traffic in Finland. This decision follows on from the decisions made by the Government on 19 March, 7 May and 12 June.
On 13 July 2020, restrictions were lifted on traffic at the internal borders between Finland and countries where the incidence of the coronavirus is similar to that in the countries where internal border control has already been lifted. Restrictions at the external borders to continue with certain exceptions. More information on border traffic is available in the Border Guard guidelines.
The Government is closely monitoring the development of the disease and is prepared to change the decisions on border traffic if necessary.
Finland’s missions abroad keep their own websites and social media channels updated on current information on the impact of the coronavirus situation on the processing of visa and residence permit applications.
Holders of a Finnish residence permit may enter the country.
Other information on work-related travel across internal and external borders is available in the Border Guard guidelines.
The purpose and conditions for travel for contractual or assignment-based employment will be assessed in connection with border checks. At border checks, you may be requested to present documents verifying that your travel meets the conditions for entry into the country, such as an employment contract or documents concerning your assignment.
In situations where restrictions have been imposed on external border traffic from third countries, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a justification for the essential travel of an employee arriving in Finland from outside the EU. Tasks that are critical for the security of supply or for a specific sector, and that must be carried out without delay, are deemed essential. Based on the authorities’ assessment, a list has been prepared of tasks that are essential for the security of supply or critical for a specific sector.
The employer will fill in the form Employer’s justification for the necessity of an employee entering the country during the state of emergency and give it to the employee. An employee attempting to enter Finland will present this form in addition to other documents required for crossing the border.
It is the employer’s duty to ensure that the person entering the country has a valid residence permit or visa entitling to work, if the work to be carried out so requires.
The sector-specific list of necessary traffic prepared jointly by the ministries, the National Emergency Supply Agency, the Finnish Immigration Service and the Border Guard does not constitute an advance ruling on who will be admitted into the country, but the border control authority will take it into account when assessing the necessity of traffic.
The main rule is to restrict unnecessary travel. According to the Border Guard’s guidelines, third-country nationals who have been granted a residence permit may enter Finland starting from 1 May 2020. Residence permits for seasonal workers are not included in this category. They are treated as their own special group. To be allowed to enter Finland, a third-country national with a residence permit for seasonal work entering Finland for the first must be included in the seasonal worker quota of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
A person arriving in the country must restrict unnecessary close contacts and enter self-isolation for 14 days. Under self-isolation, movement is restricted to travel between the workplace and place of residence, and other essential movement. Use your own car, if possible.
Anyone who experiences respiratory symptoms should contact healthcare services immediately. Further instructions on the 14-day period of self-isolation will be distributed upon arrival in the country.
Remember the following:
- Avoid physical contact and maintain a safe distance of at least 1–2 metres from other people.
- Only go out if necessary.
- Avoid crowds and close contacts as much as possible.
- If you cannot avoid close contact, wash your hands with water and soap immediately after the contact.
- Follow the instructions on good hand and cough hygiene. Read the instructions on good hand and cough hygiene.
Persons arriving to work in healthcare and social welfare must agree with their employer on any special work arrangements. The employer must assess the risk of infection and, if necessary, make changes to the employee’s duties for 14 days from arrival in the country in order to ensure client and patient safety and the safety of the workplace.
If you get symptoms of a respiratory infection and suspect a coronavirus infection:
Contact a health centre immediately. You can
- make an assessment of symptoms at omaolo.fi
- call the local health centre, emergency services or Medical Helpline at 116 117
No. The current legislation does not allow reimbursement of the application processing fee.
No. The current legislation does not allow reimbursement of the application processing fee.
The residence permit will remain in effect for the duration of the layoff. An extended permit may be granted on condition that the employee has had secure means of subsistence while the previous permit was in effect. More information on working and unemployment benefits while laid off is available the websites of Kela and the TE Office.
For now, the Talent Boost action programme will focus on measures taken in Finland. We are monitoring the situation and will adjust measures as necessary.
Pilot projects that were to be implemented abroad to boost international recruitment and attract international talent will be postponed. The international recruitment pilot projects of EURES that were in their early stages will be postponed. However, EURES experts may continue to contact companies that have job vacancies and prepare assessments of situations in companies. Efforts will be made to complete the ongoing recruitment and coaching programmes online.
Companies and other employers are encouraged to use instruments such as Talent Explorer financing to recruit international experts living in Finland. Action to promote diversity in working life is taken through the Successful Multicultural Company campaign, the Talent Boost metrics and the Global Talent communications campaign.
The emergency conditions do not affect immigrants with valid residence permits. The Finnish Immigration Service and the TE Offices and ELY Centres that make partial decisions are now prioritising work-based residence permit applications considered essential for security of supply or the activities of specific sectors. Applications for extended permits will also be processed.
At the moment, the Centre for Economic Development in Uusimaa (ELY Centre) where partial decisions regarding residence permits for entrepreneurs are centrally processed, only processes permits for entrepreneurs who work as health care professionals, care workers for the elderly, in goods transport, or in other duties considered essential (for example for the security of supply). Applications for extended permits will also be processed. Granting of residence permits for entrepreneurs is always based on an overall consideration of each individual case, which involves the ELY Centre making an assessment of the conditions for profitable business and income security. The effects of the coronavirus on business activities will be taken into account when a partial decision is made. In the assessment, more weight may be given to accounting information for a period before the acute impact of the coronavirus on business activities. Future outlook will also be assessed.
Third-country nationals residing in the country with a residence permit or a permit under the Aliens Act may change employer and profession without applying for a further permit.
A residence permit issued by 9.4.2020 at the latest or a seasonal work permit referred to in the Aliens Act entitle employees to work in all sectors and tasks essential for security of supply or the functioning of the labour market.
Special act on emergency conditions is in force until 31.10.2020.
To start the special group procedure, you need to fill in an application providing the reasons why an exception should be made to the conditions of entry. A health security plan is also required.
Applications relating to special groups should be sent by email directly to the Finnish Border Guard ([email protected]).
The applications must include justification regarding the national significance of the activities and the reasons why other procedures cannot be observed as well as the procedures that will be used to ensure the implementation of health security. The employer or other such party inviting the person or persons to enter the country must present them with a health security action plan that complies with the national instructions, and when needed the local communicable disease authorities should be consulted.
The applications are sent from the Finnish Border Guard to both the relevant government ministries and also the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare or the local health authority, who then issue a statement on them. After receiving the statement, the Finnish Border Guard will prepare a policy concerning the necessity of entry to Finland and inform the applicant of that policy. However, the final decision on entry to the country is made during the border check.Updated 25.9.2020 at 11.26
Due to the coronavirus situation, restrictions on border traffic from countries with a higher incidence of COVID-19 cases will continue. The special group procedure permits an exception to the conditions of entry for justified reasons. Justified reasons include carrying out tasks necessary to secure the recovery, new growth or long-term operating conditions of a certain sector. The special group procedure applies to key persons in business and industry, culture or sports.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentUpdated 30.9.2020 at 11.48
For work-related travel of less than three days, quarantine is not required if the traveller can produce a negative coronavirus test on arrival in Finland. For longer stays, travellers can get tested a second time to shorten the 14-day quarantine. The second test should be taken no earlier than 72 hours after entry into the country. If the second test is also negative, the quarantine may be discontinued.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentUpdated 30.9.2020 at 11.52
The new model will facilitate the operations of export companies and companies that depend on foreign labour. Business and industry representatives have expressed concerns about the effects of border traffic restrictions and the quarantine recommendations on business activities.
To ease the conditions for work and other daily interaction between border communities, travel without a test certificate or quarantine requirement will be permitted in ferry traffic to Estonia, as long as the disease situation remains roughly equivalent, regardless of the incidence limit of 25.
As for other travel, border control will be replaced with health security measures, cf. “From which countries and under what conditions is travel to Finland permitted?”
Border traffic restrictions 19 September – 18 October 2020
Travel to Finland is permitted from all EU countries and the Schengen area as well as from countries on the EU’s Green List, provided that the incidence of COVID-19 in the country of origin does not exceed 25. This applies to both group tours and independent travel. Travellers must comply with general health security guidelines. The list of countries will be reviewed on a weekly basis and updated as necessary.
Transitional model from 1 October to 22 November
During the transition period, travel to Finland is permitted from all EU countries and the Schengen area as well as from countries on the EU’s Green List, provided that the incidence of COVID-19 in the country of origin does not exceed 25. This applies to both group tours and independent travel. Travellers must comply with general health security guidelines. The list of countries will be reviewed on a weekly basis and updated as necessary.
If the incidence rate in a country on the EU’s green list is higher than 25, the same travel restrictions apply as to third countries. Travel from third countries to Finland is permitted only for essential reasons.
New testing-based model effective from 23 November 2020
The new operating model permits independent travel and group tours from EU and Schengen countries and countries on the EU’s Green List.
If the incidence rate in the country of origin exceeds 25 and the tour lasts 72 hours or less, travellers, with certain exceptional categories, would be required to show a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued less than 72 hours before their arrival in the country. Finnish citizens and permanent residents of Finland would not be required to show a test certificate when returning to Finland.
For tours lasting more than 72 hours, passengers will be required to take a second test no earlier than 72 hours after entry into the country.
The conditions for testing are the same for all passengers arriving from EU countries, the Schengen area and from countries on the EU’s Green List.
On 11 September, the Government adopted a resolution on the implementation of a hybrid strategy for cross-border traffic and travel. This strategy includes an operating model in which restrictions on the entry of passengers arriving from the EU and Schengen countries and countries on the EU’s Green List are replaced with health security measures. The health security measures required depend on whether the country of origin has a low or a high incidence of COVID-19. Countries of higher incidence include those where the incidence of coronavirus exceeds 25 cases/100,000 persons in a period of 14 days. The operating model adopted in the resolution will be introduced by 23 November 2020.
The Government also made a decision on 11 September regarding restrictions on border traffic for the period from 19 September to 18 October 2020. Starting from 19 September, restrictions on entry may be lifted for those EU and Schengen countries and countries on the EU’s Green List where the incidence of COVID-19 does not exceed 25. If the incidence rate in the country of origin is higher than 25, travel to Finland is not permitted, certain exceptional categories of persons excluded. Internal border control will continue until the new testing-based approach is introduced by 23 November.
The Government decision on border traffic restrictions for the period from 19 September to 18 October 2020 is therefore a step towards the operating model set out in the resolution. However, the introduction of a testing-based operating model requires legislative amendments and measures to ensure health security, which is why the model will be gradually phased in.
The gradual introduction also involves transitional procedures to be introduced alongside entry restrictions for the period from 1 October to 22 November 2020. These procedures concern the recommended health security measures.
During the transition period, prior testing is recommended for persons arriving from EU and Schengen countries subject to internal border control, for those arriving from Green List countries with a higher incidence, and for those arriving from third countries for essential reasons. Residents of Finland returning from countries with higher incidence rates may, at their discretion, shorten their period of self-isolation by taking a test as soon as they arrive in Finland, followed by a second test after 72 hours at the earliest. This will ease the conditions for essential travel for work.