PCR tests and travel certificate prices in Norway

Find out where you can get a COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test with a certificate for travel quickly and affordably. All coronavirus testing labs in Norway in one place.

Updated: 24.01.2022

Estimate when to get tested before flying

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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What is the PCR test?

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.

What is the COVID-19 antigen test?

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.

What is the antibody test?

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.

Travel and the coronavirus pandemic

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?

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer-BionTech)
  • Spikevax (previously Moderna)
  • Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson&Johnson)
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • CoronaVac

On arrival to Finland starting from December 16th, 2021:

  • Finland has begun requiring people arriving from Norway, Denmark or Britain take Covid tests at the border, regardless of vaccination status. The requirement entered into force immediately on December 16th, 21.
  • Non-EU and Schengen countries: Starting from December 21st, Finland requires that people coming from those countries take a pre-departure Covid test within 48 hours of their journey, even if they are fully vaccinated
  • EU and Schengen countries: If you have a a certificate of an approved full-course COVID-19 vaccination (no less than 14 days from the last dose) or laboratory confirmation of having been infected with COVID-19 within the past 6 months, you do not need to take the coronavirus test at the entry point or within 3-5 days of arrival in Finland. UPDATE: Starting December 28th, 2021 till January 31, 2022: Finland has begun requiring people arriving from both EU and Schengen as well as Non-EU countries show a negative covid-19 test certificate with a test taken no less than 48 hours, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you have a certificate of having tested negative for the coronavirus no more than 72 hours before arrival in Finland or of having received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine course at least 14 days before arrival in Finland, you will be referred to the test within 3–5 days (72–120 hours) of arrival in Finland.
  • If you DO NOT have any of the above-mentioned certificates, you will be referred to the COVID-19 test at your point of entry and within 3–5 days of arrival in Finland. Tests are FREE of charge.
  • If you have taken a COVID-19 test at your point of entry when arriving from a risk country, you must take another free of charge test within 3–5 days of arrival in Finland.

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.

Sea travel and covid testing

Viking Line ferries

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:

  • A certificate of receiving one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization or the European Medicines Agency. The vaccine must be taken at least 14 days before the sailing. Despite the certificate, it is required to undergo free testing for COVID-19 at the port of destination.
  • Negative covid-19 test result up to 72 hours old. You must complete the form at FINENTRY before the border check on the return journey, and follow the health authorities' advice to take the free covid-19 test no earlier than 72 hours or no later than 120 hours after returning home.
  • A medical certificate proving a complete recovery from COVID-19 disease less than 6 months before the sailing.
  • No certificates are required for people born in 2006 or later.

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.

Tallink&Silja Line ferries

Traveling to Finland

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 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.

Traveling from Finland to Sweden (Stockholm)

UPDATE: Starting January 21 2022 , the Swedish government changed the entry ban from 21 January 2022, now exempting fully vaccinated holders of a vaccine certificate, or certificate of recovery if entering from an EU country including Nordics. The time limit for negative covid-19 tests have been extended to 72 hours. 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.

Traveling from Finland to Estonia (Tallinn)

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.

Travelling to Latvia

The state of emergency has been declared from October 11 2021 to January 11 2022 to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. Travellers from EU/EEA countries can enter Latvia by presenting one of the following:

  • certificate of vaccination. The full vaccination course is reached 15 days after the second doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, or 15 days after the single dose of the Janssen vaccine
  • certificate of recovery from COVID-19
  • a pre-departure negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival
  • a pre-departure negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours before boarding the carrier’s vehicle or entering Latvia

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.

COVID-19 tests at Helsinki Airport

Traveling to Finland

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.

COVID-19 tests when traveling abroad

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.

Traveling from Finland to Norway

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.

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