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 come to Finland from a country with a low incidence of coronavirus OR you were born in or after 2005, you do not need to take part in a health examination or coronavirus tests, present certificates related to coronavirus or voluntarily avoid contact with other people after entering the country.
Low-risk countries are defined in a Government decree. No certificate or COVID-19 test is required for persons arriving in Finland from the following countries or municipalities as of September 6th: Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia. Updated September 3rd, 2021.
When you arrive in Finland from a high-risk country, during your health examination you will be asked for a certificate on a negative coronavirus test, on having recovered from COVID-19 and/or on being vaccinated.
Which vaccines are accepted at the points of entry into Finland?
On arrival from a high-risk country starting from July 26, 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 must 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-19completed at least 14 days before the sailing OR a certificate with a positive antibody test result or 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.
A positive antibody test result or medical certificate proving complete recovery from the COVID-19 disease less than 6 months before the sailing applies only to citizens of the EU and Schengen Area, as well as residents of the EU or Schengen Area.
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.
No restrictions. From 31 May 2021 no entry ban, negative covid test or quarantine is required when travelling directly from another Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway). Entering Sweden from other EEA countries will still require a negative COVID-19 test result (not more than 72h). When returning back to Finland, you have to provede one of the certificates mentioned above or take a free of charge test upon arrival and the second one within 72-120 hours.
From August 2, 2021, you can travel from Finland to Estonia providing one of the following certificates: 1.Full vaccination (2 vaccines) or 2. recovery from Covid-19 in last six (6) months or 3. a negative corona test (PCR or antigen). It is possible to perform a coronavirus rapid test during the trip with Tallink Megastar and Star. The price of the test is 39 €, and you will receive a certificate. Traveling to Estonia is possible from any country in the European Union, European Economic Area and the Schengen area with an infection rate above 75 persons per 100 000 inhabitants in the past 14 days. 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.
Travellers from EU/EEA countries can enter Latvia by presenting one of the following:
Children under 12 years old are exempted from the requirements above.
Individuals not complying with the health and safety requirements can be subject to a fine from 100 – 2000 euros.
Essential and work related travel to Finland is allowed in air traffic from EU and Schengen countries. Internal border controls were lifted for Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovakia on 1 July, 2021. Also restrictions on external border traffic were lifted for traffic arriving in Finland from Bulgaria and for residents of Albania, Hong Kong, Japan, Lebanon, Macao, North Macedonia and Taiwan arriving in Finland in traffic from these countries or territories.
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.
If you are coming from or have been in a high-risk country within two weeks of entering Finland, you will be directed to receive a health examination. You can check the high-risk countries on the map on THL web page. 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 Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice is to avoid non-essential travel. However, everyone has the right to leave Finland, provided that there is no legal impediment to leaving the country. Finnish citizens and permanent residents of Finland always have the right to return to Finland.
If you arrive in Norway from a "green area" you are exempt from quarantine, from a "red/orange/purple area" - you must go into quarantine for 10 days. If you live in a green country/area and have stayed in a green country/area for the last 10 days, you can travel to Norway now. Please note that you cannot travel through orange or red countries/areas on your way to Norway unless you are fully vaccinated and can document this in a verifiable way. If you arrive from a dark red or pale grey region, you must stay at a quarantine hotel for three days. You can then complete the remaining quarantine in other suitable accommodation. People who arrive in Norway from areas with a quarantine duty must present a certificate of negative COVID-19 test. Approved test methods are PCR (i.e. PCR or other nucleic acid amplification test) or rapid antigen test. The test is to be taken within the 24 hours prior to arrival in Norway. For people arriving by plane, 24 hours apply before the scheduled departure time of the first flight. The certificate must must be a Norwegian, Swedish or Danish COVID-19 certificate with a QR code that can be verified by the Norwegian authorities, or a COVID-19 certificate following the EU rules for digital corona certificates. People who cannot present such a certificate may be refused entry.
Other persons in entry quarantine must take a PCR test seven days after arrival. If they then test negative for COVID-19 via a PCR test (not a rapid antigen test), they can end their quarantine.
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.