According to the Border Guard, the waiting times for those traveling to Norway on Saturday during the day were at most “a few minutes”. In Kilpisjärvi, the Norwegian side had to wait longer.
Norwegian criteria for the entry of Finnish tourists tighten again next Monday. The information did not cause a large congestion of Norwegian tourists at Lapland’s border crossings, at least on Saturday, according to the border guard.
“At least in the morning, the traffic volumes have been pretty normal. You can’t really talk about congestion at all if you think about what the situation was like at the beginning of the week, ”General Director of the Lapland Border Guard Antti Saarinen told HS in the morning.
In the afternoon, according to his information, some queue had formed at the Kilpisjärvi border station on the Norwegian side.
“There’s obviously some waiting there. According to an unofficial estimate, there has been talk of a queue of about a hundred meters, ”Saarinen said at half past three in the afternoon.
According to him, the waiting times at border stations on the Finnish side were at most a few minutes.
Norway has been a favorite summer holiday destination for Finns, especially during the Korona period.
Last Monday, the country lifted entry restrictions for passengers arriving from the hospital districts of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Päijät-Häme and Pirkanmaa.
This week, everyone from Finland except Kainuu has been able to travel to Norway for any reason and without quarantine. The beginning of the week brought congestion to the border stations between Finland and Norway.
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Towards the end of the week, according to Antti Saarinen, the Kilpisjärvi border station has had less than a thousand visitors a day and Nuorgam has “such three hundred”. The figures include border crossings in both directions.
At least in Kilpisjärvi, the numbers have been higher than during the peak hours of the beginning of the week, but according to Saarinen, people have come more evenly during the day. For example, there have been no congestion peaks like Monday morning.
“Back then, it was perhaps about the start of the summer holiday season and the perception of passengers that you can travel to Norway from a wider area,” says Saarinen.
“Probably then it caused congestion on the Norwegian side.”
Saarinen does not comment on the actions of the Norwegian authorities, but says that he has heard that traffic from Norway has been smoother since the end of the week.
In the future on Monday Helsinki and Uusimaa, Kymenlaakso and Päijät-Häme will be returned In Norway’s official classification as so-called orange areas. They may not travel to Norway without a specific reason unless they show evidence of a full vaccine series or coronavirus disease within six months.
The Border Guard Advice Line has been congested this week. Saarinen urges both those coming to and leaving Finland to find out about the current entry conditions, fill in the electronic health information form in advance and take the necessary documents, such as vaccination certificates, ready at the border.
“For example, communications at border crossing points may be limited,” he points out.