For members


What are the new rules for travel between Sweden and the UK?

With the UK poised to remove all entry requirements, here's what you need to know about travel between Britain and Sweden.

What are the new rules for travel between Sweden and the UK?
People in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London in January 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

What happened on Friday, and how does it affect travelling from Sweden to the UK?

On Friday, March 18th, the UK will end all of its Covid-related travel restrictions.

That means that people will no longer have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form or upload a negative test or proof of full vaccination before travel. 

The new rules apply for anyone entering the country after 4am on March 18th, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. 

The so-called ‘Day 2’ tests, which vaccinated people were already exempt from, will also no longer be required for unvaccinated people from this date. 

In other words, people won’t have to take any Covid tests before or after travel. 

Technically, anyone arriving from a ‘red list’ country is still subject to hotel quarantine. However, there are currently no ‘red list’ countries listed by the UK and this rule is also set to be axed by the end of the month. 

Other things to be aware of:

While the removal of travel restrictions is set to apply UK-wide, you may encounter slightly different Covid rules across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

England, for instance, has recently scrapped all Covid restrictions, including the requirement to self-isolate after a Covid infection and mandatory masks on public transport and in other indoor areas. 

However, in Wales and Scotland, some restrictions remain in place – though these could be removed later in the month. Read more about the respective rules and upcoming changes in each country HERE

READ ALSO: Are you classed as fully vaccinated in the UK after having Covid and one jab?

You can also find more information on UK travel rules HERE. Click the following links to read more about travelling to EnglandWalesScotland and Northern Ireland.

What about travel from the UK to Sweden?

Until Sweden ends its entry ban for non-EU arrivals on March 31st, people travelling from the UK, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey, to Sweden still need to meet one of a list of exemptions in order to enter the country.

Since October 11th, anyone with valid certificates proving a completed vaccination against Covid-19 counts as exempted from both the entry ban, and from the requirement to have a negative test on arrival to Sweden.

The UK is on Sweden’s list of “approved countries“, meaning UK vaccination certificates count as valid, so long as vaccination was completed more than 14 days before travel. If you are travelling from the UK but were vaccinated elsewhere, the country where you were vaccinated must also be on the approved list.  

What about driving to the UK from Sweden?

As the UK no longer requires a passenger locator form, you no longer need to keep a record of which countries you have transited through. 

In the other direction, Sweden in February lifted all restrictions on entry from EU and EEA countries, meaning there are no longer any restrictions on travel from all of these countries, including Denmark. 

However, you will want to make sure that you read up on the various rules and entry restrictions in the countries you will be travelling through. In Germany, for instance, you might be stopped and asked to show proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, or a negative Covid-19 test. 

What Covid restrictions are still in place in Sweden? 

None. The entry ban for non-EU arrivals is the last significant Covid-19 restriction still in place in Sweden, after the country lifted almost all restrictions on February 9th

The above information was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. Please be aware that we are not a government authority and cannot issue any guarantees about whether or not you will be able to travel to Sweden or the UK. We always advise readers to also consult the official information on the Swedish border police’s website and the UK government website before travelling.

If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact our editorial team at [email protected]. We may not be able to reply to every email, and we cannot advise on individual cases, but we read all emails and use them to inform our future coverage.

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For members


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.