Swedish Public Health Agency proposes stricter restrictions for foreign travellers

Swedish Public Health Agency proposes stricter restrictions for foreign travellers
Everyone travelling into Sweden should avoid contacts with others, says the Public Health Agency. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
The Public Health Agency has asked the government to introduce a requirement for foreign nationals to show a negative Covid-19 test before entering Sweden – and recommends that all travellers get tested and self-quarantine for a week.

In a proposal submitted to the government, the agency requests that the justice ministry order all foreign travellers to Sweden to show a negative Covid-19 test that’s less than 48 hours old.

In a statement, the Public Health Agency writes that Swedish citizens (who cannot legally be prevented from entering Sweden) “and others travelling into the country and have for various reasons not been tested before departure should do so on the day of arrival”.

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“The situation is changing extremely fast around the world and different virus variants may be found in more countries than those we know of. Therefore, the Public Health Agency believes it is important to get the new restrictions in place,” said director-general Johan Carlson in the statement, released on Friday afternoon.

The agency also recommends that everyone arriving in Sweden from any country in the world stay at home and avoid contacts for seven days – and get a second test on day five, in addition to the first test that they got before arriving in or departing for Sweden. The rest of their household is also urged to stay at home during this time.

Cross-border commuters and members of their household are exempt from these guidelines on the condition that they get tested at least once a week, writes the Public Health Agency.

The recommendations to stay at home for seven days and get tested on the fifth day are issued by the Public Health Agency and The Local understands they are effective immediately.

The pre-arrival test requirement for foreign nationals first requires a formal government decision and would then likely be up to the border police to enforce. A government press spokesperson told the TT news agency that they would “urgently” process the Public Health Agency’s request.

No further information was immediately available on Friday.

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