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VACCINATION

Can I come to Sweden if I’ve been fully vaccinated against Covid-19?

As vaccination programmes progress around the world, those who have received protection against Covid-19 may be wondering about their travel options.

Can I come to Sweden if I've been fully vaccinated against Covid-19?
Arlanda airport (Photo: Stina Stjernqvist/TT) and an EU proposal for how a vaccination pass could look (Photo: Wiktor Nummelin/TT)

Question: I have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and received a certificate to prove this. Can I come to Sweden now?

The short answer is no, proof of vaccination in itself isn’t currently a factor in whether you are allowed to enter Sweden.

Even if you are vaccinated, you are still covered by the travel restrictions for those coming from EU and non-EU countries

At the time of writing, this means that if you are travelling from another EU/EEA country, you can enter Sweden for any purpose, so long as you can show a negative coronavirus test that is less than 48 hours old.  

If you are travelling from outside the EU, you can only enter Sweden if you show a negative coronavirus test no older than 48 hours, and also fall into a category exempt from the entry ban: that includes Swedish citizens or residents, or people who meet one of a long list of exceptions, for example travel for urgent family reasons. 

There are some exemptions to the requirement to show a negative coronavirus test, including for Swedish citizens and residents, but proof of vaccination is not one of them. And everyone arriving in Sweden is expected to isolate and avoid close contact with others for at least seven days on arrival.

This will probably change before the summer, with several plans for ‘vaccine passes’ underway which would allow vaccinated people to travel more easily.

The European Union is also working on developing a common framework for “digital certificates” among member states, with the bloc’s tourism chief announcing on Sunday that the certificates should be available within “two to three months”.

In the US meanwhile, President Joe Biden in January ordered agencies to start looking at developing an international vaccine certificate.

As more and more countries issue digital or physical certificates showing vaccination, antibodies or other immunity, Sweden is likely to include that in its entry requirement, probably in concert with other countries in the European Union. 

This article was written in response to questions from members of The Local. If you have any questions about Sweden’s Covid-19 rules, email [email protected] and we will do our best to answer if we can.

Member comments

  1. I do think Sweden should consider now letting in UK citizens who have had both covid vaccinations . Covid is now well under control in UK and most restrictions are being lifted April 14.

  2. Seems that having evidence of double vaccinations should cover it. The rules will probably be updated shortly.

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TRAVEL NEWS

EXPLAINED: What’s behind the queues at Stockholm Arlanda airport?

Travellers are reporting queues over an hour long at Stockholm's Arlanda airport. What's going on and how long is it expected to last?

EXPLAINED: What's behind the queues at Stockholm Arlanda airport?

What’s the situation at Stockholm Arlanda airport? 

On Friday morning, there were queues lasting over an hour at Arlanda’s security controls. By 10am, they had been reduced to below half an hour, according to the live update the airport operator, Swedavia, maintains on its website here

Swedavia first began warning of long queue times on Monday, saying the queues were the result of a resurgence in travel combined with staffing shortages at Avarn, the contractor responsible for managing the security checks. 

“The wait times are due to a staff shortage with our security services contractor – which is caused by ongoing recruitment and absences due to illness,” the airport said on its website

What are travellers saying? 

Twitter is predictably awash with angry comments from travellers, including some well-known commentators. 

The terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp resorted to capital letters to bemoan the “CATASTROPHE” at the airport. 

The Financial Times’ Nordic Correspondent also compared the situation at Arlanda unfavourably with the smooth controls at Helsinki Airport

“Never seen anything like it and sounds like might be worse today. In Terminal 5 both queues, SAS and Norwegian, were well over 100 metres long,” he told The Local. “It took me 50 minutes to get through security. Don’t think it’s ever taken more than 10 in the Nordics before.” 

What should you do if you are travelling through Stockholm Arlanda at the moment? 

Swedavia recommends that you arrive “well in advance” when taking a flight. You can contact your airline here to find out when their check-ins and baggage drops open.  

Swedavia also recommends that you do everything possible to speed up the check-in process, such as:

  • checking in from home
  • packing hand baggage to make screening faster
  • checking the need for a face covering in advance
  • checking that you have the right travel documents ready 

If you can’t check in from home, Swedavia recommends seeing if you can check in using an automated machine at the airport.

What is the airport doing to to improve the situation? 

On June 15th, the airport is reopening Terminal 4, which might help somewhat, although the airport warns that as staffing is the major problem, having more space will not fully solve the problem over the summer. 

In a press release issued on Friday, Svedavia’s chief operations officer, Peder Grunditz, said opening a new terminal was “an important measure”. 

“We are now going to have the three biggest terminals back in operation for the first time since the pandemic,” he said. 

The company and Avarn are also making “big recruitment efforts” and taking “operational measures” to improve the queue situation, although the “challenging labour market” made that difficult. 

When will waiting times return to normal? 

In his press release, Grunditz conceded that waiting times were not likely to return to normal during the summer, due to the rapid growth in the number of people taking flights. 

“Even though we expect gradual improvements, the queuing situation is going to continue to be challenging during periods over the summer,” he said. 

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