UK to lift quarantine for arrivals from Sweden

The UK government has announced it will lift its 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement for travellers from Sweden.

UK to lift quarantine for arrivals from Sweden
Passengers at London Heathrow Airport. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK had added Sweden to its list of travel corridors – countries that are exempt from quarantine rules. The decicion is set to come into force at 4am on Saturday.

Travellers who arrive before that deadline will still need to isolate for the full 14 days.

Although passengers from Sweden will no longer need to self-isolate, it is important to be aware that you do still need to fill out the passenger locator form. The form can be accessed here and you can show either a printout or a completed version on your phone, but you must fill it out online.

You cannot submit the form more than 48 hours before you travel. It asks for detailed information about your journey, where you will be staying in the UK, contact information and details of someone who can be contacted if you fall ill – so it's best not to leave the form to the last moment as your flight is about to depart.

The decision also means that the UK Foreign Office will from 4am on Saturday no longer be advising against non-essential travel to Sweden. Sweden has no travel restrictions in place for travellers from the UK.

Note that the Swedish foreign ministry currently advises against all non-essential travel to the UK. This is not legally binding, but may affect the validity of your travel insurance. The advice is based on travel restrictions in those countries and not on the risk of coronavirus infection – so it is likely (but not confirmed) that Sweden will now reciprocate.

The Swedish foreign ministry told The Local on Friday morning that the advisory remains in place until September 23rd (the date it last set) for now, but that it is prepared to make urgent decisions if needed. Click here to read more.

The decision applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The UK did not have international travel restrictions during the strictest phase of its lockdown, but on June 8th introduced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all international arrivals.

From July 10th these were lifted for arrivals from a list of 'safe' countries, but Sweden has remained subject to the two-week self-quarantine rule up until now, even as its number of new coronavirus cases fell over the summer.

The British Embassy in Stockholm wrote on Facebook that Sweden had been added to the list of travel corridors “following a sustained decrease in the incidence of coronavirus assessed by the UK's Joint Biodiversity Centre.”

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