The World’s Happiest Country Has Reopened to U.S. Travelers

Finland is now welcoming fully vaccinated Americans with no testing or quarantine requirement.

The World’s Happiest Country Has Reopened to U.S. Travelers

Finland’s endless lakes and saunas could be the remedy we all need.

Photo by Shutterstock

A year and a half into this pandemic it’s safe to say that we could all probably use a little mood boost. So it comes as welcome news that the world’s happiest country—Finland, the land of saunas, vibrant coffee culture, and endless beautiful landscapes—is now open to fully vaccinated travelers, including those from the United States.

Effective July 26, Finland has reopened its borders to leisure travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with the last dose having been administered at least 14 days prior to arrival by vaccines that have been approved by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. Those include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (the three COVID-19 vaccines that have received emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers must present their CDC-issued vaccination certificate upon arrival in Finland, after which there will be no mandatory COVID-19 testing or quarantine.

Unvaccinated travelers from the United States are allowed to enter Finland for essential reasons only, according to the U.S. Embassy in Finland. They must also provide a negative COVID-19 test result, furnish proof of recent recovery from COVID-19, or take two COVID-19 tests upon arrival, the embassy advises.

Unvaccinated minors under 18 can enter with vaccinated parents or guardians.

The latest updates on entry requirements are available on the Finnish Border Guard website, and the FINENTRY online portal allows users to enter their travel information to confirm entry requirements based on their country of origin and health status, including vaccination details.

Earlier this year, Finland was dubbed the happiest country in the world for the fourth year in a row, according to the 2021 World Happiness Report. It was followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands in the annual survey that ranks countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.

That’s not totally surprising given that Finland is, among other things, the sauna capital of the world—there are more than 3 million saunas in Finland, and its sauna culture was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

The country is also covered nearly 80 percent by forests and is home to 40 national parks and 188,000 lakes, making this Nordic nation a haven for nature and design seekers alike. (Stay in these Marimekko-designed cabins to experience both the great outdoors and nordic design.)

As for where things stand in Finland regarding the pandemic, among adults age 18 and over, 56 percent are fully vaccinated in Finland and 70 percent have received at least one dose, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. As of July 29, Finland was reporting 467 new COVID-19 cases on average each day, which is 64 percent of its peak in mid-March. The country has had a total 104,495 infections and 978 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

Finnair currently offers flights to and from several cities in the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Las Vegas.

>> Next: 7 Lessons Learned From the Happiest Country in the World

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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