Finland closed to ferry passengers from Saturday

Tallink staff aboard on of its ferries.
Tallink staff aboard on of its ferries. Source: Tallink

Passenger ferry travel to Helsinki from Tallinn will be halted from Saturday, April 11, until at least May 13, making it impossible to enter Finland by that means of transport.

The development follows an announcement by Finnish authorities the week before last that no ferry passengers would be admitted into the country, as part of that country's coronavirus pandemic measures, affecting routes between Sweden and Finland as well. As of Sunday the ruling comes into effect.

Other travel options between Estonia and Finland will also be very limited; Finnish carrier Finnair is reportedly to keep an air route open if demand requires it.

Finland will reportedly still allow transit passengers headed for Estonia via ferry, provided proof of final destination, such as the ferry ticket, is given, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

Ferry companies advised to halt selling tickets ahead of the restriction coming into force include Viking Line and Finnish carrier Eckerö, as well as Estonian line Tallink. All three companies suspended ticket sales for Finland-bound journeys as a result.

The ruling does not change the right of entry into Finland, which means that only those with residence permits can enter the country, and even then would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. Ferry travel from Finland to Estonia is still possible, the quarantine rule would apply on arrival in Estonia.

Exemptions to entry restrictions include truck drivers taking essential cargo, whose transport continues between the two countries, emergency and healthcare service providers and the diplomatic corps.

The appropriate documentation would be required for this, including proof of the requirement to be there in Finland as well as regular ID checks; the Finnish Border Guard has final say in who to admit, the foreign ministry reports in its press release.

More information on conditions of entry into Finland are here.

The Finnish government decision to extend measures to May 13 is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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