(7.6. 2021) EU’s COVID 19 digital certificate vs. Finnish law
From Monday 7 June 2021, you can enter Finland without restrictions on a business trip flying from the Schengen countries. The Schengen area comprises 26 European countries.
The participation of teachers and principals in Erasmus + KA1 courses is undoubtedly a task of their job, no question about that. The staff of schools are trained in the in-service training program of the Erasmus + program. The program funds cross-border mobilities which are based on the projects of schools. The aim is to equally develop the skills and opportunities of school staff in the 32 countries that have joined the Erasmus + program.
In addition to the Schengen area, business travel by air will be liberalized in traffic between Finland and Andorra, Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania, San Marino, Cyprus and Monaco.
How does Finland welcome foreign teachers who apply for in-service training for courses held in this country? First of all, it should be noted that there is a lot of Erasmus + courses on offer in Finland. Finland is the most popular target in the Nordic and Baltic countries as a course organizer and also surpasses the countries of Central Europe in the absolute number of Erasmus + courses offered.
At the same time as the borders are being opened, the EU has prepared a common certificate that would open up travel within the EU in general. The COVID 19 Digital Certificate will facilitate safe free movement of citizens in the EU during the pandemic. The certificate will be introduced in EU Member States. Countries can start issuing and using it already and it will become available in all EU Member States as of 1 July 2021. Read more >>
How about teachers and principals coming to Finland?
It goes without saying that schools are reluctant to send their important staff to courses without knowledge of the threats, restrictions and sanctions. For example, quarantine could be detrimental not only to the employee’s own work but to the work of the entire school.
Is it certain that a common EU corona passport would suffice? Or is there any need for other possible certifications, testing, or quarantine in addition?
Despite the EU’s common line and the COVID-19 passport, each country has its own decision-making power on how to deal with entry during a pandemic.
It is therefore worth preparing for possible solutions that deviate from the EU line, both in your own country and in the target country. The lengths of Erasmus + courses vary from a couple of days to 10 days. Of course, everyone wants to make sure they don’t get sick themselves and don’t infect others during that time.
Finland has managed its own situation of corona infections quite well, and the country is one with the lowest number of infections and deaths in Europe in relation to population. Therefore, the starting points for participating in Erasmus + courses are good in Finland. Euneos has already published its own guidelines for COVID-19 a year ago and the measures will be updated due to the situation, read more >>
In practice, people come to Finland for Erasmus + courses almost always by plane. As great an idea as Erasmus + ‘green travel’ is, it doesn’t work for Finland. You can easily tell by looking at the map. Air travel can also be justified by the fact that it is indeed a business trip and not a leisure trip. In water and land transport, on the other hand, Finland may continue to allow entry only for necessary reasons (with an exception of border co-operation with Norway in the north).
At the same time as the EU has prepared the COVID-19 digital certificate, the Finnish government is bringing a proposal on entry to Parliament. The two solutions can hardly be in conflict with each other. The same basic requirements are included in both cases. The traveller must have a certificate of a diseased corona, a certificate of a corona vaccination or a negative test result.
The EU states on its certificate: “Member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate,” but adds, “unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.”
In its bill, will the Finnish government perhaps go further in the restrictive direction than in the EU?
The leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat writes on 4 June 2021, “Finland would allow entry without additional conditions to anyone who has received a full series of coronavirus vaccines or has been protected from covid-19 disease.
Thus, a full series of vaccinations could mean, for example, two doses in the case of Pfizer and Biontech, or one dose in the case of Johnson & Johnson.
The possible COVID 19 illness should
not be longer than six months.
A negative coronavirus test result would allow entry, but passengers would be required to take another test within 3-5 days of entry. The Department of Health and Welfare is already instructing voluntary quarantine for the waiting time for the test. The same guidance would probably be maintained.
In any case, the passenger should have a negative corona test result obtained in advance. If this is not the case, the passenger should apply for the test as soon as he or she arrives in Finland and for another test within 3-5 days.”
How would the requirements be monitored?
HS continues, “The municipalities where the border crossing points are located would be responsible for checking the certificates.
If it is not possible to check the advance certificates of all immigrants, the checks can be carried out on a random basis, the bill states.”
Nothing is so bad that there is something good about it. Crises teach in their own way, through the difficult. Action against the pandemic has forced the EU to find common means and solutions agreed by member states in an emergency. One great solution is a common corona passport, which is digital but can be printed on paper too, of course.
In the future, the introduction of common documents will certainly be easier than before. Things are going to be streamlined.
(1 June 2021) Erasmus+ courses of Euneos to be opened next
today I will listen to my favourite song Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, for I have just got my 2nd dose of COVID 19 vaccination on Tuesday 1 June 2021.
I hope you have all been vaccinated or will receive your doses soon. It gives a real sense of relief and helps us to face the future.
As the pandemic eases, travel is on the rise again in Europe. At the same time, many venues are being opened for Erasmus + training. I’d like to inform you about the matter in this newsletter.
The Euneos FI course offer is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Erasmus + program. Have a look at our course portfolio>>
Our course locations are well connected to different parts of Europe. Unfortunately, green travel to courses in Finland is hardly possible to all of you within the time limit of travel.
Erasmus + mobilities are essentially part of the work of teaching staff and they are important in raising European awareness. We therefore hope that anyone interested could have access to Erasmus+ courses. Go to see the the registration form, or mail to email@example.com.
Detailed information about blended courses with online components and about Euneos’ online courses.
Finland being a Schengen country, we take it for granted that COVID 19 digital certificate is going to be valid also here after the summer holidays. However, Euneos has not yet confirmed our domestic Erasmus+ courses, because the travel restrictions in autumn 2021 are still not quite clear in this country.
If you are more interested you can read about them in more detail on the web page of THL, the Finnish national health authority.
Read about the border security rules for travelers to Finland from Schengen countries till June 15.
Otherwise we are having a pretty good situation with infections going down and the vaccination programme is advancing at a steady pace. There are only two areas currently where the Indian mutation of the virus has spread swiftly, and the experts are no sure how well the different vaccinations will protect against it.
Links to Estonian information
So, we’ll update the confirmations/ postponements of autumn courses once we have enough information.
Should we need to postpone some of the early autumn courses still, we hope that the schools registered might make use of latter additional sessions instead.
Ilpo Halonen, Euneos FI
(26 May 2021) Will Erasmus + courses be opened after the summer?
26/5/2021. Dear colleagues! I hope you have been able to continue your work in a safe manner.
In this newsletter, we tell you about the opportunities for teacher training in the Erasmus + program.
Many of the school mobilities already funded by the program are awaiting implementation. Due to the pandemic, it has not been possible to organize Erasmus + KA1 courses for more than a year. So what are the prospects at the moment?
The capacity of the Finnish course provider Euneos to organize trainings is still quite good, and we believe that the same is true for most other course organizers.
Much now depends on matters that can be decided by EU, governments and authorities. How to ensure that travel, hotels, course venues, etc. are safe?
A significant part of Euneos’ courses are in Helsinki and Tallinn. The question arises, how is Finland preparing to open travel? The Finnish government has just passed proposals for new laws on entry to prevent the spread of the corona infections of foreign origin in Finland. The laws are due to enter into force as soon as possible.They would be valid until the end of May 2022.
This is how the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat writes about the matter 26.5. 2021. ”According to the government’s bill on the entry model, a tourist arriving in Finland must have a reliable certificate of a diseased corona, an acceptable certificate of a corona vaccination series or a negative corona test result within six months.”
”If a person arriving in Finland could not present a corona test certificate, he or she should take the test upon arrival in Finland. In addition, individuals who do not have a vaccination certificate or a certificate of illness should undergo a second test 3 to 5 days after entry. If the traveler did not have any of the above certificates, he could be turned away.”
The above proposals on certificates are in line with the content of the EU COVIC-19 certificate. Link to Questions & Answers»
the certificate of the EU is introduced next summer, as suggested,
travel to Finland should be comparable to other Schengen countries.
As a member country of the EU, Finland is committed to follow the
rules of the bloc.
Northern Lights: Integrative Practices is the first of of domestic courses of Euneos FI in autumn 2021. The course location is Inari, 1300 km north of Helsinki. It is the northernmost corner of the EU. The date is August 24-30 (reserve September 26 – October 2, 2021).
The organization of that course should be successful for all, in terms of health safety. Finnish Lapland has been the most popular destination for domestic tourists throughout the pandemic.Tens of thousands of Finns visit tourist attractions in Lapland all time.
In case the restrictions of traveling for foreigners in Finland would be (which we don’t see probable) stricter than in other European countries, Euneos FI can change venues of Erasmus+ courses to our other venues in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Netherlands and Estonia. The change of venue from one country to another is a normal procedure in Erasmus+ program, and can be made by consent of the National agency.
(24 May 2021) Dear colleagues! We hope you are doing well at this challenging time.
Euneos Newsletter 6/2021 tells you about traveling to Erasmus+ course venues.
Will Erasmus + courses be open to participants soon? What happens when the pandemic eases? In this newsletter 6/2021, we are talking about what kind of relief vaccinations and the EU corona passport will bring to the situation?
When are we able to travel with EU’s COVID travel pass? When can we get one? Hopefully, by June. The regulation will come into force on July 1 and will have a six-week phasing-in period for any member states that need more time. However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday the system would be ready at an EU level “in the next few days”. Would it mean that themember states could begin their domestic rollouts immediately?
EU’s COVID travel pass vs national certificates
Even before the EU corona certificate is there, many European countries, among them Finland, are going to resort to national certificates, so ‘travel bubbles’ may exist between individual countries. Undoubtedly, the EU’s common certificate has the greatest impact on travel in Europe, so EU’s COVID travel pass will probably be the game changer. It is really important for Erasmus + mobilities.
The information of EU*s certicifate includes 1) a valid certificate of corona vaccination, 2) a negative corona test result and 3) a certificate that the person has earlier had corona disease. The common corona certificate of the EU has to be accepted by all EU countries. For other certificates, EU countries can make their own decisions. In that case, everyone must find out before the trip what kind of certificate is required in the country of destination and whether a national corona vaccination certificate alone is valid or not.
Green traveling – yes but how?
We all know that air travel has a detrimental effect on the environment, but it is worth remembering that Erasmus + mobility is a matter of professional travel, different from tourism.
It is difficult to imagine that course participants could travel to Finland, for example, without using flights. Privileging ’green travel’ by trains, bus or car may be a good idea for countries of Central Europe, but it discriminates countries such as Finland whose geographical location makes green travel virtually impossible regarding short courses of Erasmus+ KA120-SCH.
More questions can be asked and answers read on the Euneos Facebook group, read more>>
Link to Euronews’ Everything you need to know about the EU’s COVID travel pass, click here»