Travelers from outside the EU who hope to visit Sweden this summer will be disappointed after the announcement that the country’s entry ban will be extended to 31 August.
Previous exceptions continue to apply. This means that travelers from low-risk countries including Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand can enter Sweden, as well as people with urgent needs for family travel. However, all travelers who are exempt from the ban must still present a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival.
British travelers should note that the travel ban outside the EU / EEA also applies to travel from the United Kingdom.
Nordic travelers welcome
The news is much better for residents of Sweden’s Nordic neighbors. Travelers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway can enter Sweden without presenting a negative Covid-19 test from 31 May.
“Sweden was the last to introduce travel restrictions to our Nordic neighbors and now we are the first to remove them. When we open up for travel, we prioritize the Nordic region, says the Swedish Minister of the Interior Mikael Damberg at the press conference and announces the changes.
Whether the entry rules will be reproduced by the other nations remains to be seen. At present, travelers from Sweden face travel restrictions over large parts of the Nordic region, including a quarantine period in Norway. Such restrictions for the return journey will probably postpone mass tourism to Sweden for the time being.
Sweden is still fighting the coronavirus
Demand for international tourism to Sweden is also still uncertain as Sweden was hit hard by a third wave and registered one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in Europe just a few weeks ago.
At the time of writing, 14,451 covid-19 deaths have been registered in Sweden, a number many times greater than all other Nordic countries combined.
Despite the situation, Damberg is optimistic about a mutual agreement: “I know they want to open up when possible. We have had a higher spread of infection and that is an argument for having stricter rules. We respect that the Nordic countries make their own decisions. ”
EU decisions are expected
Travelers from other EU / EEA countries may also enter Sweden, but the requirement to present a negative Covid-19 test that is not more than 48 hours old remains until June. However, the recommendation to be tested again on arrival and self-isolate from seven days is relaxed from 1 June.
Evidence of complete vaccination will not be accepted instead of a negative test result, although this is expected to change when the EU introduces its vaccination certificate in June.