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COVID-19

Sweden extends warning against non-EU travel, but removes 7 countries from the list

Sweden's foreign ministry has again extended its advice against non-essential travel to non-EU countries until at least July 1st, with a few exceptions.

Sweden extends warning against non-EU travel, but removes 7 countries from the list
People take Covid-19 tests at Stockholm's Arlanda airport. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

From June 1st, some countries will be exempted from the list, meaning travel from Sweden to the following countries will no longer be advised against: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. These countries had previously been removed from Sweden’s non-EU entry ban, but it is the first time that they are added to the exempted list for travel in the other direction.

All countries in the EU, EEA and Schengen area, as well as the UK, have already had the travel advisory lifted, although this does not mean travel to these places is encouraged.

The advisory has been extended multiple times since it was first introduced in mid-March 2020. It applies to travel from Sweden overseas, and although it is not legally binding (you are still able to leave the country), it is intended to dissuade people from non-necessary travel and can have implications on the validity of travel insurance if you travel against official advice.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “even for travel to countries where the advisory has been lifted, a great deal of personal responsibility lies with the individual traveller. The pandemic is still affecting travel conditions around the world.”

“Non-essential” travel includes for example tourism, but travelling for work normally counts as essential under the foreign ministry’s rules. However, people are still urged to think twice before travelling, as restrictions may change fast (and it’s worth bearing in mind that domestic and international travel is generally discouraged at the moment).

Member comments

  1. I think what they have done is relaxed it the other way round, which was never a ban just a recommendation. But hopefully as they have done this it could mean that they allow the UK to travel into Sweden when they review the incoming travel ban on 31/05.

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SAS

What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Scandinavian airline SAS has issued advice to passengers likely to be affected if the company does not come to an agreement with its pilots to divert a strike scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Passengers can rebook equivalent flights for free and are advised to check whether their flight will be affected, SAS said.

A deadline for resolution of an ongoing conflict between the two sides has been set for Tuesday night. If no agreement is reached, SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark will begin striking on Wednesday.

In a statement, SAS said that several services and thereby many passengers will be affected by the strike.

But it also stated that some services would still operate on Wednesday if the strike goes ahead.

“SAS is taking precautionary measures to support customers whose flights will be impacted by a potential strike,” SAS said.

“Due to peak season, the availability of equivalent flights will be highly limited. Therefore, SAS is taking precautionary measures to enable customers to plan alternatives to their scheduled flight,” it said.

“SAS offers passengers booked on SAS flights between June 27th [and] July 3rd 2022  the option of rebooking the ticket, free of charge. Passengers can rebook to a SAS flight on another date, within the next 360 days, to the same destination if the same service class as the original ticket is available,” it said.

To see if their flight is likely to be affected, passengers are advised to check the status of their flight on the SAS website. Rebookings can be made via the “My Bookings” section.

Passengers who booked their ticket via a travel agent or tour operator should contact them directly, SAS said.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

Rebooking may take longer than usual, especially for passengers contacting the airline over the phone.

“The potential strike is causing a high pressure on SAS’ customer service and the waiting time is longer than usual,” SAS said.

“Customers will continuously receive information and updates via SMS, email and on our website. To be able to support customers impacted by a potential strike, SAS is strengthening customer service and call-centres for rebooking where possible,” it said.

The strike, involving around 1,000 SAS pilots, is scheduled to begin on June 29th after the collective bargaining agreement by which the pilots’ salary and working terms are determined expired in April. Pilots are currently working under the terms of the expired deal.

The creation of two SAS subsidiaries, SAS Connect and SAS Link, is reported to be a point of contention in negotiations over a new collective agreement.

Pilots’ unions in all three Scandinavian countries will take part in the strike, should mediation not achieve a result.

READ ALSO: SAS pilots’ strike scheduled to begin on June 29th

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