Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
General advice is to avoid non-essential travel, other than to any countries on the ‘Green List’ where the advice is to take normal precautions.
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 (including to Great Britain but not to Northern Ireland), other than to any countries on the ‘green list’ where the ‘normal precautions’ security status rating will apply. The request to restrict movements does not apply to individuals arriving into Ireland from any countries on the ‘green list.’
On 15 September, the Government agreed that, for the period ahead, this ‘green list’ will be updated on a weekly basis, to include any EU / EEA countries with a 14 day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Updates are being made on the basis of data each Thursday, with changes taking effect from the following Monday.
The Green List was reviewed again on the basis of the ECDC data on Thursday 15 October. As no EU / EEA countries were below the required 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases, it remains the case that there are no countries on the Green List. The new EU Recommendation on coordinating travel within the EU / EEA was adopted at the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 13 October. Implementation of this is for consideration by Government next week.
The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination.
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.
If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:
Irish citizens travelling to any countries 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. Citizens who are considering travel to these countries are also advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their chosen destination. This includes information regarding possible restrictions on arrival from abroad, including from Ireland. The security rating for all other countries remains unchanged at either ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or ‘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. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to 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 decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.
Where additional restrictions apply within Ireland, these are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government.
Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
Where to go for further travel information:
- DFA Travel Advice for over 200 countries
- Follow us on Twitter
- Register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate
Avoid non-essential travel
Security Status Last Updated: 08 October 2020 to take effect from 00.00 on 12 October 2020
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Finland has increased significantly over the past month. While Finland has lifted most of the restrictive measures that were introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19, some remain in place. Further information about the restrictions is available here.
The Government of Finland reintroduced border restrictions for passengers arriving from a number of countries, including Ireland, from 24 August. Entry into Finland is limited to certain categories of passenger such residents of Finland, passengers travelling for work, and other essential travel. It is important to check with the Finnish Border Guard for the latest information. Information on border restrictions when entering Finland is available here.
If you arrive in Finland from Ireland, you are advised to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. You should avoid close contact with others whenever possible and stay at home. However, you can shorten your period of self-isolation by voluntarily arranging to take two COVID-19 tests. Further information is available here.
Border restrictions do not prevent you from leaving Finland if you wish to do so. 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. We recommend that you download the Koronavilkku app. Koronavilkku is a contact-tracing app produced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare to help you find out whether you may have been exposed to coronavirus. The app is available here.
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.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
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.
UEFA Nations League Finland v Republic of Ireland
On 14 October, Ireland will play against Finland in Helsinki as part of the UEFA Nations League. In line with a decision announced by UEFA on 1 October, Home supporters are allowed to attend the match, but Away supporters are not. Please be aware that entry into Finland is restricted to certain categories of passenger, such as people travelling for work or other essential reasons. This means that it will not be possible to travel from Ireland to attend the match, unless you can demonstrate that you meet the criteria for entry into Finland. Further information is available here.
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
- 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
Safety and security
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The currency of Finland is the Euro.
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 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.
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
Monday - Friday: 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you 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.