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Finland

If you’re travelling to Finland, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security status

Take normal precautions.

Security Status Last Updated: 22 July 2020

Latest Travel Alert

Novel Coronavirus

Finland is gradually easing the restrictions that were introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19. Most were lifted on 1 June but some remain in place. Further information about the restrictions is available here.

Entry into Finland is currently limited to certain categories of passenger. Since 13 July, Finland has allowed passengers from Ireland to enter without restriction. This decision is subject to review and the situation may change. Further information on border restrictions in Finland is available here.

If you wish to leave Finland, please be aware that travel options remain limited as many flight routes were cancelled due to COVID-19. The cancellations included the Finnair direct flight to Dublin, which is scheduled to restart on 2 August. For further information, please see the Finnair website. We recommend that you exercise caution if booking flights, as scheduled flights may yet be cancelled.

If you are in Finland, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Finnish Government: Information and Advice about Coronavirus

The Government of Finland has set up a national telephone service which is available for general inquiries on the coronavirus (COVID-19). The telephone number is +358 295 535 535 (currently open from 8 am to 9pm weekdays, and from 9am to 3 pm on Saturdays). The service point is not available for health consultation in individual cases but provides general information. If you suspect that you may have coronavirus, you can carry out a symptom assessment using the Omaolo website, available here.

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.
Do:
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
Don’t:
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

 

There is currently a Measles outbreak in Finland. The World Health Organisation recommends that travellers get vaccinated against measles at least 15 days prior to travel.

WHO advice for international travel in relation to measles can be found here.

Finland is generally a very safe country, though there is a general threat of terrorism in Europe. Finland's Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) has issued a terrorist threat assessment level of "elevated" (number two on a scale of one to four; one being low and four being severe). Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or in other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Finland by dialling 112.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

 

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Terrorism

Finland's Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) assesses the current terrorist threat level as "elevated" (number two on a scale of one to four; one being low and four being severe). There is a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Finland but you should take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Finland, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Helsinki if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Finland, you should take care, particularly during the winter months, when the roads can be hazardous and icy conditions are common. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • Drive with dimmed headlights at all times.
  • Make sure your car has winter/snow tyres (either studded or non-studded) from 1 December to 31 March – this is a legal requirement.

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it’s your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Alcohol

Drinking in public places in built-up areas and on public transport is forbidden in Finland. The police have the right to confiscate any object or substance that may be dangerous. Anyone who violates this law may be taken to a detoxification centre and/or fined.

Finnish-Russian Border

Crossing the border of Finland into Russia is allowed only at official checkpoints where most travellers must present at least one visa. Multilingual yellow warning signs at all other points along the 1,340 km border caution travellers not to cross inside the border zone. Anyone who attempts to enter the border zone or to cross the border into Russia illegally may be charged with border offences, which can carry a fine or a prison sentence.

Health

Health

Medical care

You may be charged a standard fee at public health centres depending on the treatment you receive and where you receive it.

There’s a fixed daily charge for both in-patient treatment and outpatient visits at public hospitals, which are non-refundable. However, you may be able to claim a partial refund on private treatment from either a doctor or a hospital if you submit a receipt to the local KELA (the Social Insurance Institute of Finland) office. You must claim refunds for medical expenses within six months of the original payment.

Prescription drugs

You can get prescription drugs from any pharmacy. You'll be charged the full cost but you may be able to claim a refund from the local KELA office. See details at the following link http://www.kela.fi/web/en/medicine-expenses?inheritRedirect=true

For most prescribed medicines, you can be reimbursed for the medicines you purchase after you have met the initial deductible which is 50 euros per calendar year.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

European Health Insurance Card

As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.

You can apply for your EHIC and find out more information here.

The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

You need a valid passport to visit Finland and we advise you to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Irish citizens do not require a visa for Finland. However if you are staying for longer than three months, you are advised to register your details with the Local Register Office.

Currency

The currency of Finland is the Euro.

Climate

Summer is generally warm with relatively mild weather in spring and autumn. Mosquitoes can be prevalent during warm weather, particularly in the north of the country, so you’ll need a supply of insect repellent.

Winter temperatures can be very cold and warm clothing and footwear is essential.

Air quality

Air quality in Helsinki at certain times of the year (late spring/early summer) can be poor and, if you suffer from allergies, you may find your condition is worse at these times.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Outside office hours, in case of a genuine consular emergency involving an Irish citizen in Finland, please call the Embassy's main phone number on +358 9 6824240
and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox will be monitored regularly.

Embassy of Ireland
Erottajankatu 7 A
00130 Helsinki
Finland

Tel: +358 9 682 4240
Fax: +358 9 646 022

Monday - Friday: 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00

Contact us