I'm seeking confirmation about the permissibility of a journey I'm planning to make from the UK to Finland via road and ferry. For a bit of background, I'm a UK citizen emigrating to Finland from the UK for work and this involves transporting my belongings by road in early September.

My journey is as follows:

  • Ferry from Dover, UK to Calais, France
  • Drive from Calais, France to Travemunde, Germany via Belgium and the Netherlands with an overnight stay in France/Belgium
  • Ferry from Travemunde, Germany to Helsinki, Finland
  • Unload belongings on day of arrival in Helsinki, stay one night
  • Travel from Helsinki to Travemunde, Germany with overnight stay in Germany
  • Drive back to Calais, France via the Netherlands and Belgium with overnight stay in France
  • Ferry to Dover, UK from Calais, France

I've been following each country's restrictions using the Re-open EU website.

I think this journey is possible as:

  • France has no compulsory quarantine for travellers from the UK, only a voluntary quarantine, so I read this as me being able to stay in a hotel in France
  • Belgium allows transitting through by motor vehicle, subject to providing a Passenger Locator form.
  • The Netherlands also allows transitting by motor vehicle
  • Germany no longer imposes quarantine for those not from high-risk areas (the UK is not classed as high risk as of July 17th 2020).
  • Entry to Finland by ferry is permitted from Germany as of July 13th 2020. There are still restrictions on individuals travelling from the UK to Finland up to August 11th but 1) I will be travelling after this date and 2) I won't be travelling directly from the UK.

I plan to travel with a copy of my work contract (to aid entry into Finland) but I am not sure how to definitively prove that I will be transitting Belgium and the Netherlands other than providing tickets for ferry travel from Travemunde to Helsinki (outbound) and again from Calais to Dover (return) as well as reservations for overnight stays in France and Germany.

Am I correct in believing that I can make this journey given the current travel restrictions?

Any advice you can offer would be hugely appreciated.


  • 3
    A thought on your route: crossing from Harwich to The Hook of Holland (Stena Line) will save significant driving on the European side, and avoid border crossings into France and Belgium. A night crossing could save you an overnight stay, too.
    – user105640
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 3:45
  • 1
    There also exist some poorly advertised RORO freight ferries between UK and Scandinavia (18 hours Immingham to Esbjerg). With a van or small truck full of stuff you'd be eligible to take one of those, avoiding not only France and Belgium but also Netherlands and Germany.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 10:46

2 Answers 2


Finland has no border control at all when arriving from Germany, only from Czechia, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden (among internal Schengen borders).

The Finnish border agency has stated that, where there are no border controls, no restrictions apply.

The 14-day rule quoted by Mark doesn't apply in Finland.

So you're all good.

More info HERE


There are still restrictions on individuals travelling from the UK to Finland up to August 11th

In general, the quarantine rules apply to where you were during the previous 14 days.

From your description you are coming from the United Kingdom, transiting through France, the Beterlux countries and Germany.

Without a reliable Finnish source stating explicitly that travelers from the United Kingdom are exempt from the 8 cases per 100,000 previous 14 days rule, assume that a 14 day quarantine will be (at least) recommended.

Latest news, dated 2020-07-08
The Finnish Government bases its decisions on easing border control and restrictions on the incidence of COVID-19 in the country. The limit value is a maximum of eight new cases of the disease per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days. The next alleviation to border control and restrictions will come into effect on 27 July.

United Kingdom: 13.8 cases per 100.000 previous 14 days

As of 13 July, border control and restrictions are lifted and also leisure travel is possible between Finland and Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Malta, the Netherlands, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the Vatican. Leisure travel to Finland has already been possible from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the Baltic countries.

Essential, work-related and return travel is possible from all Schengen and EU countries as well as the UK. Except for those countries named above, self-isolation for 14 days upon arrival is recommended.

Nope, it varies too wildly for such a statement to be appropriate. Finland certainly doesn't apply it; it's all about where you're arriving from currently, and this has further been confirmed to me by the national border control unit via e-mail.

None of the countries below suggest that the last country you were in is what counts. Some, but not all, say that the point of departure within a 14 day period is what counts.

Common sense should tell you that someone coming from a high infected area can avoid a quarantine just because they were within a low infected area in the last stage of their travel.

United Kingdom

You’ll still need to self-isolate if you’ve visited or made a ‘transit stop’ in the previous 14 days in any country that is not on the list.
The 14 days begin from the date you left that country.


The place of departure is decisive in regard to whether it is possible to enter Germany, not the nationality of the person wishing to enter.

Regardless of the possibility to enter the country, Germany still has a quarantine requirement in place in all federal states on the basis of the Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz) for those returning to and entering Germany from regions designated by the Robert Koch Institute as risk areas. The quarantine requirement also applies across the board (with the exception of transit passengers) for travellers with an important reason for travel.

United States

With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States.


Compliance and enforcement of the Quarantine Act

  • required to acknowledge that you must:
    • isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or
    • quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days if you do not have symptoms


2.2. External border traffic from certain countries to the extent that entry is restricted Travel between Finland and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom and Monaco is allowed with similar restrictions as at internal borders as follows:
Self-quarantine is recommended for those arriving in Finland. Passengers arriving in Finland are informed of the Finnish hygiene and safety distance instructions.


The following countries will remain “orange” due to the incidence of new infections or local entry restrictions and significant quarantine requirements:

Ireland, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the UK.


Which travellers need to self-quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands?

  • Countries within the EU, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom:

Only travellers from Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria, 2 areas in Spain (Segrià and La Mariña-Lugo) and 1 area in Portugal (Vale do Tejo, this includes Lisbon) and 1 area in the United Kingdom (Leicester), are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in the Netherlands.


  • 2
    "In general, the quarantine rules apply to where you were during the previous 14 days." Nope, it varies too wildly for such a statement to be appropriate. Finland certainly doesn't apply it; it's all about where you're arriving from currently, and this has further been confirmed to me by the national border control unit via e-mail.
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 5:49
  • 1
    This is misleading. The Norwegian quarantine rules, for example, depend for foreigners entering on where you are resident and not where you have been or where you are coming from, except for restrictions on transit through Sweden. That doesn't sound as if it makes sense, but that is how the regulation is written. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 7:25
  • @Crazydre Sorry, but I disagree with your interpretation. None of the public sources imply that where you're arriving from is what counts. Many state where you were in the previous 14 day is what counts. So saying 'assum the worst' unless a reliable source states otherwise is a valid statement. An eMail received by someone else, is not a public source. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 8:09
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbo But you can see that others state the exact opposite. So listing the strictest possibilities is not misleading, but informative of what could occur. Stating that one countries easier regulation and claiming that it is true for others is misleading. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 8:20
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbo Yes, their sample is not complete. The Italian living in the US, after a quarantine in the UK, would probably be let in. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 8:32

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