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.
Something goes wrong. Check fields and try again.
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.
The temporary provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act will cease to be effective on 30 June 2022, and the entry restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted. Travellers can enter Finland in accordance with the normal entry requirements effective from 1 July.
As of April 1, 2022, Estonia has lifted Covid-19 entry restrictions and now permit restriction-free entry to the EU/EEA travelers.
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 restrictions on who can enter Norway have been lifted.