Receiving Covid-19 test results and a travel certificate in time might be a challenge.
You should check in advance if a negative PCR or antigen test is required before boarding a plane or upon arrival. Some countries require proof of a negative test prior to arrival. Other countries require that travelers are tested for Covid-19 no more than 48 or 72 hours before departure. Don’t forget about differences between time zones when planning your trip!
Our Covid-19 test calculator may help you find out when you need to get a PCR or antigen test to travel to the destination.
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The PCR method is used, among other things, to diagnose various virus infections. The PCR test is used for the diagnosis of influenza, RSV and other viruses that cause respiratory infections, and intestinal viruses, such as norovirus.
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. The advantages of a PCR test are its speed, accuracy and sensitivity.
In the diagnostics of COVID-19 a specific SARS-CoV2 PCR test is used, which accurately detects the SARS-CoV2 virus. The test is very specific, i.e. it only identifies SARS-CoV2 from the sample.
The PCR tests in use in Finland also identify virus mutations or variants as COVID-19 cases. The more detailed genetic definition of the mutation, i.e. the identification of a specific variant, requires sequencing, meaning the determination of the virus base order. In addition to being PCR tested, a part of the positive samples found in Finland have been sequenced.
There are two different numeric values associated with the PCR test. The replication cycle of the virus’ genetic material refers to the number of replication cycles. This indicates how many cycles of PCR reaction have been run. The Ct value refers to the replication cycle during which the sample has been observed to be positive.
Tests from different manufacturers have a different number of replication cycles, which are defined separately for each test by the laboratory carrying out the analysis. All the samples in the same run are replicated the same number of times.
Antigen tests do not generally recognize the coronavirus as reliably as PCR tests. They detect approximately 85 to 95 percent of infections detected with PCR tests.
The timing of the test is even more important for antigen tests than for PCR tests. Antigen tests are most reliable when used within 5 days of the beginning of symptoms.
The advantage of antigen tests is their speed: The test results are available in approximately 20 to 90 minutes. In addition, samples need not be sent to the KCL laboratory for testing; the test can be carried out, for example, at a health station.
A Covid-19 antibody test is performed on a blood sample. The test measures antibodies to coronavirus that are produced in the blood when a person has had the disease. Antibodies are formed with a delay, usually within two weeks from the time of infection or onset of symptoms. For this reason, the antibody test does not indicate whether the person is infected at the time of the test. The antibody test indicates whether a person has had a coronavirus infection.
If you are planning to travel abroad, please note that countries may be restricting entry. Check the current regulations governing entry from the officials of your destination country before travel, for example, from the nearest diplomatic mission of that country.
It is also a good idea to check in advance if a negative coronavirus test is required of arriving passengers. For example, some countries require a negative result from a PCR test or an antigen test. Some countries also require a negative IgM antibody test result.
When you arrive in Finland, you will be asked for a certificate of a negative coronavirus test, on having recovered from COVID-19 and/or on being double-vaccinated.
Which vaccines are accepted at the points of entry into Finland?
On arrival to Finland starting from December 16th, 2021:
If the entry point cannot carry out a coronavirus test, you will be contacted within 24 hours and referred to a test, which will be taken no earlier than 72 hours after arrival. If you are aged 18 or older and refuse a to participate in a compulsory health examination, you may be fined under the Communicable Diseases Act.
High-risk countries are countries in which the incidence of coronavirus disease has been more than 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants within the preceding 14 days. The health examination will establish whether you may have a coronavirus infection.
At the same time, your coronavirus test certificate is checked. If you do not have a test certificate or a certificate of having already had COVID-19, you will be directed to get tested, or you will be given instructions on how to get tested.
If you refuse to take part in a health examination, you may receive a fine or be punished with a maximum of three months' imprisonment for a health protection violation.
All passengers are required to complete the FINENTRY online form before arriving in Finland. The requirement does not apply to offshore cruises or trips to the Åland Islands.
Passengers travelling to Finland must present one of the certificates:
The requirement does not apply to offshore cruises or trips to the Åland Islands.
If you do not have a vaccination certificate/a Covid-19 recovery certificate/negative test, then arriving in the port of Helsinki, you must undergo a health check-up immediately after entering the country. The check will include a test for COVID-19. The health check-up is performed in the health information point at the port and it is mandatory. The check is also mandatory for Finnish citizens.
If you travel to Finland with a negative test result or only one vaccination certificate, you may fill in the form in the FINENTRY service and the certificates must be available at the border inspection.
Coronavirus tests conducted by Finnish public health care services are free of charge.
When entering Finland you have to show a certificate of completion of the full course of vaccination against COVID-19 completed at least 14 days before the sailing OR a medical certificate proving complete recovery from the COVID-19 disease less than 6 months before the sailing OR a certificate of having received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine taken at least 14 days before the sailing OR a certificate with a negative PCR or antigen test result for COVID-19 taken no earlier than 72 hours before the sailing.
Certificates are not required for passengers born in 2006 or later.
Passengers who have received 1 dose or provide a negative test result are also not required to submit a negative test but are required to take the test no earlier 72 hours after arrival.
UPDATE: On 7 February 2022, the Swedish government decided to lift all entry restrictions from the Nordic countries and other EU and EEA countries. The decision is valid starting 9.2.2022. When returning back to Finland, you have to provide one of the certificates mentioned above or take a free of charge test upon arrival and the second one within 72-120 hours.
As of April 1, 2022, Estonia has lifted Covid-19 entry restrictions and now permit restriction-free entry to the EU/EEA travelers.
When returning back to Finland, you have to provide one of the certificates mentioned above or take a free of charge test upon arrival and the second one within 72-120 hours.
When entering Latvia from the European Union, European Economic Area countries and Great Britain, you do not need to present Covid-19 certificates or Covid-19 tests. The need to present a certificate or a negative Covid-19 test prior to entry is still maintained when entering from other third countries.
Travel to Finland is allowed for EU and Schengen countries. Internal border controls were lifted for the EU and Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition, this section applies to Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City State. Also restrictions on external border traffic were lifted for Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Jordania, Kuwait, Macau, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Persons who have received a complete vaccination series (EU-approved) may be granted entry into Finland from any country, provided that at least 7 days have passed since the last vaccine dose has been received.
Finnish citizens and residents of Finland always have the right to return to Finland, and everyone has the right to leave Finland if they so wish, provided that there is no legal impediment to this.
Finnair will as of 12 July discontinue its requirement for customers to present covid certificates before boarding flights to Finland.
Passengers who have only one vaccination or no any vaccinations/recovery certificate are directed to a free of charge Covid-19 test at the airport. City of Vantaa in co-operation with Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS is responsible of the Covid-19 testing activities.
Passengers can also use Finentry service before arriving in Finland. The service is provided by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. Finentry is a digital service that makes it easier to travel to Finland and manage the coronavirus testing that may be required for entry. You can also book a Covid-19 test via Finentry.
Remember to check the entry and quarantine regulations, e.g. the need for certificate of negative Covid-19 test or recovery from Covid-19 or proof of Covid-19 vaccination from the authorities of the country of destination. Some countries require certificate of negative Covid-19 test from both PCR and Antigen tests. Some airlines also require a printed certificate of negative Covid-19 test in a language specified by the country of destination.
The restrictions on who can enter Norway have been lifted.
Anyone travelling to Norway must complete the registration form prior to travelling. This also applies to Norwegian citizens.
Unless you can document that you are fully vaccinated (within 270 days) or have had COVID-19, you will need to present documentation of a negative test result for the coronavirus on a test taken prior to arriving in Norway.
You do not need to take a test at the border upon or after arrival any longer.
Persons who cannot document that they have been fully vaccinated or have undergone COVID-19, must provide documentation of a negative test result for the coronavirus to entry.
Test method: PCR-based test or rapid antigen-based test. Must be taken less than 24 hours prior to arrival to Norway. Language: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, French or German.
If you arrive by air, the test can be taken during the last 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the first flight of your itinerary.
The requirement for a negative test does not apply to people who can document that they have undergone COVID-19 during the last six months or can document that they are fully vaccinated by the Norwegian COVID-19 certificate.