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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
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
For people travelling very close to Christmas Day how will they get a test? Places may be closed or results slower,
Hello Rachel! Local tourism boards are working hard to set up testing locally, to be done in a swift way. There’s still 3 months until Christmas, so there’s time to prepare. We will notify you guys about the latest development in testing etc.
Impossible from UK to get test+results +flights
At the moment, I am not aware of what UK tour operators are planning, but I am sure they are working on how to solve this problem.
I am sure there will be visitors outside of Finland who would like to stay in Lapland for Christmas, if , unlike last year there will be snow. What about people already living in Finland, who also would like to rent a cabin for Christmas? Will there be health requirements, social distancing or other restrictions for those just wanting to be away from homes that they have been isolated in for the past six months. Perhaps Lapland may get their homegrown tourists after all.
Hello David! I believe we did have snow in Lapland on last Christmas, and the one before that, and the one before 🙂 People already living in Finland do not need to follow quarantine or special requirements. Social distancing is voluntary, and is easy to be carried out in Lapland with very low population density. There are sure many domestic travellers who will go to Lapland & Kuusamo this winter, just as any other winter, as a matter of fact.
“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.” => It’s a really good question ! How can they monitor this especially with individual travellers ?
I don’t believe they can monitor the quarantine in practice. They have certainly said nothing about monitoring.
It’s very disappointing.
I have booked for 6 people for 4 days coming from Ireland. If the rate stays above 25 per 100k here in Ireland, we really cannot go. It would cost another €1200 to get tests before we travel. When we arrive we would have to quarantine for three days and then have another test on the day we are going home.
The pre-paid Hotel have said that if I can’t travel, I can have credit to use next summer but i cannot use it next Christmas. But my only interest in visiting Lapland is for Christmas.
The situation is very unfortunate, and all of the actors in tourism business are making their best to affect the government’s decision. Also, companies and tourist centres in Lapland are working on setting the testing facilities locally, designed for delivering swift test results to tourists.
Any idea What would happen if your trip is just over 72 hours and you will be in the airport to go home after 72 hours?
We do not have information about that from the government. I thought about it myself, as “what if you travel for 80 hours, or 96 hours”? I guess the correct answer is that you do the test upon arrival – at the airport, or at the resort in Lapland, and hopefully, one can be obtained in 1-2 days, so you can plan the rest of the trip freely. Not very convenient, but that’s the governments view atm.
Do you think these ‘test’ and ‘quarantine’ rules will apply late Feb/March, when we are booked to come from Israel.