The government has made new decisions regarding entry restrictions into Finland.

A sunset in Iceland. Photograph: Ben Bodien/Flickr

The government has made new decisions regarding entry restrictions into Finland.

On Monday, the borders open for Iceland because of an improved coronavirus situation. At the same the borders close for residents of Rwanda because of a worsening pandemic.

There will be limited opening hours for certain border crossing points on the western border in Lapland and the eastern border.

Beginning on February 15, the border crossing points on the Finnish–Norwegian border will be open at 9.00–21.00. The border crossing points on the Finnish-Swedish border in Karesuvanto, Kolari, Muonio and Pello will be open at 7.00–21.00.

The limited opening hours do not apply to goods transport or necessary passenger traffic with a justified reason to cross the border outside the opening hours. Other border crossing points will remain open around the clock.

Beginning February 19, the opening hours of border crossing points on the Finnish–Russian border in Niirala, Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa will be limited. The limited opening hours do not apply to goods transport or to persons with an urgent and necessary reason to cross the border outside the opening hours.

“The new restrictions,” according to a statement by the government, “aim to reduce cross-border traffic to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 variants. There are no other adequate measures available yet to replace internal border controls.”

By restricting the opening hours to day and evening times, health authorities can be present at border crossing points and reach all of those crossing the border. Because the restrictions on opening hours will not apply to goods transport or urgent and necessary passenger traffic, the restrictions are not expected to have a significant negative impact on the functioning of society.

The restrictions will remain in force until February 25.