Sweden announces new update to travel ban for non-EU residents

Sweden announces new update to travel ban for non-EU residents
Sweden has had the entry ban in place since March. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Sweden on Thursday updated its temporary ban on entry into Sweden from outside the EU, removing Morocco from a list of countries exempt from the ban.

Only people from the following countries are allowed to travel to Sweden for any reason, including tourism, according to the latest update which is set to come into force on August 15th:

  • EU/EEA, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

Sweden has had the entry ban in place since March, but has updated it several times.

For example, people arriving from Serbia and Montenegro were removed from the list of countries exempt from the entry ban on July 19th, and people travelling from Algeria on August 5th. And from August 15th, residents of Morocco will no longer be permitted to travel freely to Sweden.

However, anyone from these or other countries may still be covered by a list of several other exceptions, for example travel for urgent family reasons, or workers in key jobs. You can read more about the exceptions here.

Sweden does not have any quarantine rules in place for foreign visitors and no proof of a negative coronavirus test is required. However, everyone is expected to follow coronavirus health and safety guidelines, such as social distancing and avoiding public transport, especially at busy times.

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Border control remains a national competence and is not decided at EU level, so they are not legally binding for member states, but Sweden's decisions generally follow the European Council's recommendations.

The entry ban is currently in place until August 31st, but could in theory be scrapped earlier or extended.

The EU Commission last week called on governments to allow couples separated by coronavirus travel restrictions to reunite, following months of separation for many in cross-border relationships.

Across the world, long-distance couples have campaigned under the slogans #LoveIsNotTourism and #LoveIsEssential, calling on governments to make allowances for those in serious relationships.

In Sweden, the rules are complex, with the government saying unmarried partners of Swedish citizens and residents can enter the country, but only if they can prove they've met in person and that they intend to marry or enter a common-law relationship with their partner.

The Swedish government said on Thursday that there were “currently no plans to introduce a special exemption for people in a relationship (for example, boyfriend/girlfriend) with someone living in Sweden” but that it was “keeping the issue under review”.

The above rules only apply to travel to Sweden, not from. For more information about the Swedish foreign ministry's recommendations against non-essential travel to some countries, read this article.


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