The new entry restrictions will be in effect for 30 days starting next Wednesday.
Government decided on Friday to tighten entry restrictions from next Wednesday 27.1. from. HS compiled answers to key questions about the new restrictions.
Why are restrictions being tightened?
On Friday the decisions reported aim to reduce cross-border traffic in order to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants and to allow all entrants to be tested.
Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) stated at a press conference on Friday that the disease situation is poor in many European countries, including Finland’s neighboring countries.
According to Kiuru, the carrying capacity of healthcare is currently at risk due to more easily transmitted viral variants.
“The risk that the overall management of the epidemic and the epidemiological situation in Finland would suddenly deteriorate throughout the country is considerable,” Kiuru said.
When will the restrictions take effect?
New the restrictions will take effect next week on Wednesday, January 27th. They are valid for 30 days until 25 February.
How are restrictions tightened?
Next from Wednesday onwards, only cross-border commuting, which is essential for the functioning of society or security of supply, will be allowed.
The entry of a foreign national from the restricted EU and Schengen countries is also allowed for certain family reasons.
Finnish citizens and residents of Finland can still cross the border under the Constitution.
Who is considered necessary?
Ministry of the Interior the memorandum lists the workforce identified as significant for the functioning of society or security of supply.
These include health and rescue and emergency care staff and professional care for the elderly.
The criteria are also met by freight transport and logistics personnel, as well as by diplomats and personnel of international organizations.
In addition, soldiers and aid staff are considered essential. Representatives of states participating in international negotiations and persons participating in the work of international organizations may also enter the country.
This in addition, entry is permitted for persons traveling with a Finnish residence permit and for citizens of EU and Schengen states who have registered their right of residence.
Crossing the border is also allowed for family reasons. Kinship is considered to be spouses, children and parents, in-laws and grandparents. Instead, it is no longer possible for siblings or cousins to come to meet on the basis of kinship.
Entry from other restricted third countries is only possible in compelling family matters. This includes, for example, the birth of your own child, a serious illness of a loved one or your own wedding.
The entry of foreign nationals is also permitted for a necessary and justified reason. This means, for example, representatives of foreign media and those who have real estate, housing or leisure housing in Finland.
How is entry screened in practice?
Government the decision to tighten entry restrictions means for the Border Guard in practice a return to the familiar situation from the spring, says the Border Guard’s Inspector General Max Janzon.
Some employers have to justify on a separate form why the work task of their foreign workforce is critical and does not tolerate delay.
Janzon says the form has been made and has been in use since last spring.
“In its simplest form, the employer fills in the form and gives it to the incoming worker who presents it at the border check. It assesses whether the job is critical. ”
In practice, the border inspector decides at the border whether the worker will enter the country. The assessment is based on a list maintained by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy (MEE), which identifies tasks that are significant for the functioning of society or critical to security of supply.
“The task must fall within the scope defined by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the employer must justify why the work does not tolerate delay. The employer can check in advance from the listing whether the job is one that meets the criteria, ”says Janzon.
Entry it is also possible for certain specific groups, such as cultural, sporting or business actors.
Applications for them will be sent by e-mail to the Border Guard. The Border Guard outlines the necessity of entry on the basis of a statement from the Ministry of Responsibility.
Among other things, it is possible for economic operators to enter the country if their job is deemed necessary, for example, “to safeguard the regional economy or long-term operating conditions”.
According to Janzon, these are individual companies.
“Over the course of the fall, such applications have come to be processed quite a lot.”
For special groups, the target time for the procedure is currently two weeks. However, it may be delayed if the number of applications increases with the new restrictions.