Sweden extends travel ban for non-EU residents

Sweden extends travel ban for non-EU residents
The entry ban is now in place until October 31st. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
Sweden has extended a ban on entry from outside the EU, four days before it was set to run out.

Sweden has had the entry ban in place since mid-March, in line with the EU's coronavirus recommendations, but has updated it several times. On Thursday the government again extended it from August 31st to October 31st.

The exemptions to the ban all remain in place. Those include people from the following countries, regardless of their purpose of travel (which means anyone, including tourists, from those countries can travel to Sweden):

  • EU/EEA, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City
  • Australia

  • Canada

  • Georgia

  • Japan

  • New Zealand

  • Rwanda

  • South Korea

  • Thailand

  • Tunisia

  • Uruguay

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Other exceptions include for example people who are travelling for urgent family reasons, workers in key jobs, or people who are moving to Sweden. You can read a full list of exemptions 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.

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

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.

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 earlier this month 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”.

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