Sweden’s new Covid rules for travel from the UK

A Union Jack-branded suitcase in Gothenburg's Landvetter airport. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
People who can show a UK-issued proof of Covid-19 vaccination are able to enter Sweden for the first time in months, after the government announced changes to its entry ban.

People who can present vaccination certificates from the UK are exempted from both the entry ban and the requirement for a negative test on arrival to Sweden, the government announced last week.

The entry ban has been in place since 2020, but did not affect UK residents until the end of that year, because it was treated as an EU/EEA country until the end of the post-Brexit transition period. Under the entry ban, people wishing to travel to Sweden from outside the EU/EEA needed to fall into an exempt category (such as travelling for urgent family reasons or being a Swedish resident) as well as providing a negative test.

The change is effective from October 11th.

“Sweden and the UK have close ties and a long history of cooperation in many important areas. Travel between Sweden and the UK is of major importance for both countries from a range of perspectives,” the government said in its statement, noting that people fully vaccinated in Sweden have been allowed into the UK for some time.

The UK is not the first country to have its vaccination certificates approved by Sweden. From late September, people people who can present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued in Albania, Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Israel, Morocco, Monaco or Panama were also exempted from the entry ban and negative test requirement.

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.

As of October 4th, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova have been removed from the “safe” list while Chile, Kuwait and Rwanda have been added to it, meaning that travellers from the latter three countries can enter Sweden by showing they are resident in one of these countries and presenting a negative Covid-19 test, without needing to fit into another exempt category.

The entry rules are currently in place until at least October 31st, but could be further extended.

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