Photo: Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/AFP
From Monday June 15th, the Nordic nation will open its borders to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Visitors to these countries will also no longer have to go into quarantine on return to Finland.
The country's foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, said Finnish residents would have to wait and see whether the decision would be reciprocated.
“Norway's foreign minister told me that Norway's government would work on its restrictions tomorrow, while Denmark is making its own guidelines next week,” he told Finland's YLE news wire. “It might be worth waiting a while before booking trips to these countries.”
Finland's interior minister Maria Ohisalo said that the country had decided not to include Sweden in the border decision, due to the higher level of coronavirus infection in the country.
“Unfortunately the epidemic situation in Sweden is so bad that we are still not able to lift restrictions for Sweden,” she said.
“Sweden is still an important country for us and we will remove the restrictions as soon as possible.”
Sweden's interior minister Mikael Damberg expressed his disappointment at the decision in a written statement given to the TT newswire.
“We would have liked to have seen Finland come out with another decision concerning Sweden,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to work in a way that does not weaken Nordic collaboration.”
Ohisalo stressed that the decision to exclude Sweden had not been taken lightly.
“The government is monitoring the situation the whole time and the restrictions will be removed as soon as the infection situation allows,” she said.
On May 29th, Norway and Denmark announced that they would allow each other's residents to enter each other's countries, although Denmark made this conditional on Norwegians booking holiday accommodation in the country.