Sweden is a cool country. Its cities – Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö – are bastions of Scandinavian cool, with burgeoning foodie scenes and plenty of history. Sweden is also replete with a whole lot of stark Nordic nature, from its far-flung islands to its lakes and the frozen north.
With COVID-19 changing travel in much of the world at the moment, we have created this in-depth guide to the COVID entry restrictions for Sweden. This post includes everything you’ll need – who can travel, any testing or quarantine requirements, and guidelines in place on the ground.
Our guide has all the information YOU NEED TO KNOW for travelling to Sweden in 2020.
A message from Will, the OG Broke Backpacker
Amigos, let’s face the facts: travel isn’t what it was. Things have changed.
We strive at The Broke Backpacker to be the best source of up-to-date and relevant information in the travel-sphere. All the information here was sourced, checked, double-checked, and published on 10/12/2020. While the information was correct then—and we will outline any changes and updates that we do make in the future—it’s important to respect the immense changeability of this topic.
If you’re going to be travelling amongst the coronavirus world, you need to, do your own research and do it hard. No one blog or website is a sufficient source, and even if it was, it might all just go tits up anyway.
This information changes more often than I fart in a day. Tread with caution.
And if you do see some misinformation, please leave a (constructive) comment so that we can patch it up! We really do appreciate your support and input in these weirdest of times.
Who Can Travel to Sweden Right Now?
At no point during 2020 did Sweden close its borders to travellers from European Union member states and Schengen associated countries (including the United Kingdom).
This is a policy the country continues to have in place, as well as a select group of third-country nations which are assessed as “low risk”.
Countries on the safe travel list for Sweden are as follows:
There is currently an entry ban in place for all other third countries. This ban is scheduled to be in effect until at least 22nd December 2020, at which point it will be reviewed.
Exemptions can be made for travellers who come to study, who are essential workers, and for other essential reasons. See a full list of those exceptions to Sweden’s travel ban here.
Can Americans travel to Sweden?
At the moment, American tourists are not permitted to travel to Sweden.
U.S. citizens who must travel to Sweden for essential reasons or under extenuating circumstances, as stated above, may be granted permission to enter Sweden’s borders. This includes visiting family members in Sweden, for example.
What are the COVID-19 Entry Requirements for Sweden?
There are no specific entry requirements for individuals travelling from EU member states, Schengen associated countries or third-country nations designated as low risk (listed above). More detail on this will be outlined below.
Individuals travelling from countries deemed low risk will not have to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, nor are they subject to mandatory tests on arrival.
Individuals experiencing symptoms of coronavirus for more than 24 hours should get tested for COVID-19. Sweden’s Public Health Agency asks individuals to be tested by healthcare professionals, though at-home PCR tests can be undertaken.
For more information on testing, contact health authorities in the region in which you are staying. See here for a list of regional websites in Sweden.
There are currently no mandatory quarantine requirements for individuals travelling to Sweden. Sweden’s Public Health Agency states that you should self-isolate at home (or at your accommodation) if you have symptoms and avoid contact with others.
This should be done for at least seven days. If you require medical advice related to COVID-19, call 1177.
If you tested positive for COVID-19 while in Sweden, you also must quarantine for seveb days. Before breaking quarantine, individuals must not have had a fever for 48 hours.
There is no mandatory requirement for health declaration or passenger locator forms to be completed prior to arrival in Sweden.
Some airlines may require passengers to show a health statement. This is not a general requirement, however, and is dependent on the airline you use to travel to Sweden.
There are no changes in visa requirements for Sweden. Countries with visa-free status retain this exemption, and individuals from countries that require them to apply for visas for Sweden must still do so, though the visa process may take longer than it did in pre-pandemic times.
Currently, those from EU member states and Schengen associated countries enjoy visa-exempt travel to Sweden. To see if you are eligible for visa-free travel to Sweden, check this site.
Insurance is not an obligatory entry requirement for Sweden.
However, due to the situation of the global COVID-19 pandemic, having travel insurance is highly recommended. The cost of healthcare, testing, changes to itinerary and accommodation should be adequately covered by your insurance policy.
It should also be noted that those applying for a Schengen visa should have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and repatriation costs of at least €30,000.
Sweden’s Travel Restrictions – On the Ground in Sweden
Sweden’s borders are open for travel, but there are still a number of guidelines that travellers should be aware of. Though many of these are not enforceable by law, the Swedish government advises individuals to observe guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The most essential of these include the following from the Public Health Agency:
- Stay at home if you are feeling unwell
- Maintain social distance (at least “an arm’s length”)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (or alcohol-based disinfectant)
It is not mandatory to wear a mask in Sweden. This includes in public spaces or on public transport.
However, travellers should be aware that their airline may require them to wear face masks for the duration of flights. Swedavia Airport also recommends that passengers use face masks in the airport.
There are other recommendations for domestic travel, which can be specific to certain regions. Nationwide, the public are asked to avoid using public transport where possible and to steer clear of crowded spaces. Public gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.
Note that local restrictions may also apply: for more information see here.
What Tourist Services Have Reopened in Sweden?
Almost all services available to tourists have remained open in Sweden, with no lockdowns in place. However, in most cases, there are restrictions on these services, such as limited opening hours and venue capacity.
Services that are currently open include the following:
- Restaurants, bars and cafes
- National parks
- Public transport
In general, most businesses are open. There are advisories and suggestions for the general public and establishments to follow, rather than closures and strict regulations. For example, while cabins remain open in national parks, visitors are advised not to stay overnight to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants, cafes and bars may only offer table service and will adjust their seating for the purposes of social distancing. Shops remain open but may have limited hours.
Public transport remains operational, but there may be limitations on the service, especially in specific regions.
Staying Insured and Safe Amongst the Pandemic
Now, while travel insurance is not a mandatory entry requirement for ___, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. You really shouldn’t ever be travelling without insurance, and that goes double for the pandemic!
Keeping yourself covered against coronavirus mishaps is a complex subject, however, Americans get it easy. Our favourite insurance provider World Nomads just got favourite-r! They’re covering against COVID-related incidents and will also count for countries where corona coverage is a requirement.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Is there a backup option? Sure is—SafetyWing Travel Insurance! SafetWing is the cheap, long-term insurance for cheap, long-term travellers. And now, they’ve stepped up to the plate covering travellers and digital nomads against the scourge… at a bargain!
And if neither of those two choices are right for you? Well, in that case, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend doing your own research on the top travel insurance companies and finding one right for your trip.
And Keep Smiling
Sweden remains fairly open. The Swedish government is embracing a herd immunity tactic, which sees the country living alongside COVID-19 rather than enforcing lockdowns against it.
This means that much of the country is open for business as usual. Cafes are open, cultural venues can be explored, and charming villages can be visited and admired – just as always.
Some people can’t go to Sweden right now, but that might change in the future. Either way, if you’re looking at an imminent trip or something more distant, it can’t hurt to start planning now!
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