On Thursday 19 March, to help prevent the spread of the corona virus, Finland decided to stop cross-border commuting for Estonians working in Finland but permanently residing in Estonia. The ban will take effect from midnight (00.00) on Sunday 22 March.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki have now received from the Finnish authorities specific and updated information regarding the new border crossing regulations.
From Sunday, 22 March (inclusive), only persons with a registered place of residence in Finland are allowed entry to Finland. As a general requirement, all persons returning to Finland from other countries are subjected to a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation.
An EU citizen residing in Finland is a person who has registered his or her right to residence in the Finnish Immigration Service and has been issued a registered EU residence permit. In case anyone has questions regarding the validity of the permit in question, they should contact the Finnish Immigration Service. (https://migri.fi/etusivu).
Until 23:55 Saturday 21 March, cross-border workers can also enter Finland. Cross-border workers are considered those workers whose permanent country of residence is Estonia but who travel to work in Finland. Such workers must present proof at the border crossing, that they have a valid employment contract for working in Finland. Cross-border workers will not currently be subjected to a 14-day self-from requirement upon entry to Finland. From Sunday 22 March, cross-border workers form Estonia are no longer allowed entry to Finland.
From 00:00 on Sunday 22 March, only persons with a valid registered permanent place of residence in Finland are allowed entry to Finland.
Necessary cross-border work traffic and other necessary traffic for:
- Healthcare and rescue service professionals/personnel, health researchers, and elderly care professionals
- Transport personnel and other transport staff to the extent necessary
- Persons who have to travel due to urgent family matters
- Other necessary and justified traffic. For example, other necessary traffic would be maintenance work, that requires maintenance team or a person arriving from another country and this work cannot be postponed
For more info, please visit https://www.raja.fi/ajankohtaista/ohjeet_rajanylitykseen
The burden of proof at the border crossing lies entirely upon each individual. The final decision regarding right of entry will be made by the Finnish Border Guard.
Trade in goods will continue
Trucks are allowed – as usual, there is a special separate border crossing corridor set aside for them.
Vans are reverted to the same border crossing corridor with passenger cars and they are, as a rule, considered as regular border-crossers. If a van is carrying goods, it must be able to prove to the Finnish border guard that it is trade of goods. It is recommended to have a waybill of goods or other documents from a Finnish cooperation partner, in principle, also an e-mail from a Finnish cooperation partner will suffice (for example, Nokia is ordering spare parts) – a final decision regarding entry to Finland is made by the Finnish Border Guard.
Transit via Finland is allowed as usual. For example, transit to Norway from Estonia via Finland is allowed, provided the person has a residence permit in Norway. Each person must weigh the need to travel, and the final decision to allow entry to Finland is made by the Finnish border guard.
In addition, Estonian nationals and permanent residents returning to Estonia from other more distant countries should be able to return to Estonia via Finland also after Sunday. Travelling in transit from international airports and ports via Finland is allowed. For example, a person travelling via Vantaa airport or the port of Turku can freely and independently travel to the port of Helsinki to catch a ship to Tallinn. However, a person should be prepared to show the airline representative at their country of departure a document (for example, a ferry ticket) to prove that their end destination is Estonia.
For more information, please see our information bulletin https://vm.ee/en/commuting-and-finland
Please see also the frequently asked questions (FAQ) by the Finnish Border Guard (updated on a regular basis): https://www.raja.fi/ajankohtaista/ukk_koronavirus
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia