Sweden exempts vaccinated travellers from seven countries from non-EU entry ban

Sweden on Thursday updated its non-EU entry ban to allow fully vaccinated people to enter Sweden from seven countries including Israel and Morocco.

Sweden exempts vaccinated travellers from seven countries from non-EU entry ban
Passengers disembark a plane in the Faroe Islands, one of the countries where vaccinated travellers are now exempt from Sweden's entry ban. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The rule change means that people who can present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued in Albania, Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Israel, Morocco, Monaco or Panama will be exempt from both the ban on entry from most non-EU/EEA countries, and from the requirement to show a negative Covid-19 test on arrival in Sweden. This change will come into effect starting on September 27th.

“This should be seen as a step in a gradual and responsible opening of travel to Sweden for vaccinated people from other countries,” the government said in a statement announcing the rule change.

It comes after the European Commission said that vaccination certificates from these countries could be considered equivalent to those issued within the EU.

Under current Swedish travel rules, entry from most non-EU countries is not permitted unless the traveller falls into one of several exempt categories. Those categories include all Swedish residents and EU citizens, as well as people travelling for urgent family reasons and certain business travel, as well as from a small number of non-EU countries considered as “safe”, for example.

This ban came into force on March 19th, 2020, initially for 30 days but has been extended multiple times since then. It is currently in place until at least October 31st, 2021.

The EU recommends that member states allow vaccinated travellers (at least those who have received a Covid vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency, EMA) to travel to their countries from outside the EU, but Sweden has so far not followed that principle.

Early in September, the Swedish government said it was “exploring the possibility” of exempting “fully vaccinated residents of certain third countries”, including the UK and US, but offered no indication as to when that might happen.

On Thursday, the government said: “Additional countries, including the United Kingdom, are awaiting a decision from the European Commission in the near future. The intention is to continuously add more countries to the Swedish rules [exempting them from the entry ban and negative test requirement] following Commission decisions. The Government will provide information about this on an ongoing basis.”

Member comments

  1. And India? I mean WHO has approved their vaccines. But those countries that couldn’t get to vaccinations mentioned in the EU pass? What about them?

    1. Unfortunately, India is yet to be included in the list. I checked it in (that is where we are supposed to get the updated information).
      You can find the list at the bottom of the page or use cntrl+F and type – Vaccinated travellers from approved countries.

      I find it strange that Covishield- Indian version of AstraZeneca (produced in India) is not in the standard of the EU Covid certificate but is being exported to other countries.

      1. Yeah. i am on that website like a hawk. I mean vaccines are vaccines. If a country has vaccinated millions and billions of people with that, i don’t understand why it cannot be recognised.

        Not sure what India is doing to help it’s citizens travelling abroad as well with regards to this.

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‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Europe's airports chief told passengers to leave time for delays this summer as the air travel industry struggles to meet surging demand after the pandemic.

'Arrive early': Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

“The clear conjunction of a much quicker recovery with a very tight labour market is creating a lot of problems,” Olivier Jankovec, head of the Europe branch of the Airports Council International (ACI), told AFP.

He said there were issues from airports to airlines, ground handlers, police and border controls, but insisted: “The system still works”.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

“It’s important for passengers that they communicate with the airlines in terms of when they should get to the airport, and prepare to come earlier than usual to make sure to have the time to go through, especially if they have to check luggage,” he said.

Strikes by low-cost pilots and cabin crew across Europe – including this weekend – are adding to the disruption.

Speaking at the ACI Europe annual congress in Rome, Jankovec said airports had taken measures to improve the situation, which would come into effect from mid-July.

“Additional staff will be coming in July, the reconfiguration of some of the facilities and infrastructure to facilitate the flows will also come into effect in July,” he said.

“I think it will be tight, there will be some disruptions, there will be longer waiting times.

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

“But I think that in the vast majority of airports, the traffic will go, people will not miss their planes, and hopefully everybody will be able to reach their destination as planned.”

He also defended increases in airport charges, after criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines.

Airports face “the same difficulties and inflationary pressures” as airlines, which he noted were putting their fares up, he said.

“Staff and energy is 45 percent of our operating costs, and of course inflation is also driving up the cost of materials,” he said.