Finland opens borders for more countries. Recommendations for remote work to be removed as well as the age restriction to avoid physical contact.
The latest briefing on the coronavirus pandemic by the crisis follow-up group enables the government to lift more restrictions.
On June 15, the internal border control was lifted for Norway, Denmark, Iceland and the Baltic countries.
On Tuesday, June 23, because of the continuing pandemic slow-down, the government decided to expand the list of permitted countries.
Internal border control would be lifted for the following Schengen countries on July 13: Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Liechtenstein. Also, travel to Finland from Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland — which are EU member states but not part of the Schengen area — would be allowed.
However, the government noted that it will continue to assess the overall situation in the Schengen area and the EU member states until July 10 and will update the list of countries based on the development of the pandemic at that time.
Internal border control and travel restrictions would continue between Finland and Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Poland, France and the Czech Republic, except for leisure boating.
However, anyone traveling from Finland to these countries must remember to check the restrictions on entry into the country of destination. These countries may have restrictions in force for travelers.
In its meeting, the government stated that the recommendation on extensive remote work would end on August 1 because of the improved pandemic situation. “The summer holiday season in July,” according to the government, “will allow for a flexible, step-by-step transition towards normal working conditions.”
Also, the government will abandon the age-based recommendation to avoid physical contact that, for example, denied children from hugging their grandparents of over 70 years of age. “However, in close contacts,” the government noted, “it is advisable to take a cautious approach using individual discretion and taking the overall situation and the individual risk factors into account.”
The cricis follow-up group:
The government is basing its decisions on a report by a working group led by Permanent Secretary Martti Hetemäki.
The working group has been solely focusing on the coronavirus exit and reconstruction strategy.
The report is called “Impact of the coronavirus crisis and plan for a hybrid strategy to manage the epidemic.” It’s an 80-page plan published in Finnish only.
The government’s decisions are based on the first phase of the report.