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

What are the new rules for travel between the US and Sweden?
File photo of Salt Lake City International Airport in March 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
It's now possible for fully vaccinated people to travel from the US to Sweden.

People who can show a Covid vaccination certificate issued in the US are as of November 5th able to travel to Sweden freely, without any entry bans or test requirements.

And fully vaccinated travellers from the Schengen area, including Sweden, can travel to the US as of November 8th.

“Sweden enjoys close and good relations with the US, and cooperates on important matters in many areas. Travel between Sweden and the US is therefore of major importance in many different ways. For example, it plays an important role when it comes to companies’ competitiveness and opportunities to conduct their activities,” read a Swedish government statement when it announced its new rules.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between exempt and approved countries?

The Swedish government also added vaccine certificates issued in Guernsey, Isle of Man or Jersey to the list of countries exempted from entry restrictions, following a previous decision to accept vaccine certificates issued in the United Kingdom.

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It also decided to extend the entry restrictions for travel from within the EU/EEA until November 30th. These restrictions do not ban entry entirely, but state that travellers have to present a valid Covid certificate which shows they have either been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered (for a more precise rundown of the rules, visit the police authority’s website).

The Swedish government also last week extended the entry ban from non-exempt countries outside the EU/EEA until January 31st. This means that foreigners travelling from those countries must be covered by an exemption to the ban (such as having a residence permit, or travelling for especially urgent reasons or to carry out essential work) and present a negative test unless they’re exempt from that too.

It is still possible to enter Sweden without any restrictions at all from Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway, regardless of your nationality, reasons for travel, testing or vaccination status, or your original point of departure.

The US is not the first country to have its vaccination certificates approved by Sweden. This list also includes the UK, Turkey, Israel, Ukraine and Switzerland, among others. A full and up-to-date list can be found on the Swedish police authority’s website.

The entry ban has been in place since March 2020, but has been extended and amended several times. In theory, the dates above could also be extended or lifted before the deadline.

Member comments

  1. Could you please investigate and see if you need to be a resident of the approved countries or simply having a vaccination card from those countries is enough to enter Sweden?

    Police Border guard is not answering and is just referring me to their confusing website.

    1. Hi Alex,

      In short, it’s complicated.

      Exempt countries (i.e., countries who are no longer subject to the travel ban but whose vaccine certificates have not been approved), are residency based. So if you live in an exempt country, you can travel to Sweden if you have one of the following:
      – a negative covid-19 test
      – an EU Covid Certificate
      – a vaccine certificate from the EEA or an approved country.

      Approved countries are not residency based – their ‘approved’ status regards their vaccine certificate – Sweden deems their vaccine certificates to be equal to an EU-issued certificate. They are also exempt from the travel ban.

      From the police’s website: “fully vaccinated travellers holding a vaccination certificate issued in an approved country are allowed to enter Sweden, and can then enter without a test. Residence or citizenship in an approved country does not matter”.

      (link: See under “Exempted countries and approved countries”)

      Note that if you transit to Sweden via another country, you are processed as arriving from the last country you transit through before arrival in Sweden – not the country where you started your journey.

      Let me know if you have any questions – you can also email me at [email protected] if you’d prefer.


      Becky Waterton

  2. Hi can you travel from the uk to Sweden directly ? A relative wants to visit and is full vacinated.

    It says you can on the Briish Embassy sight and the facebook page but the Swedish Police Web site is confusing. Does anybody know what is going on ?

    1. Hi Peter,

      That shouldn’t be an issue.

      Fully vaccinated Brits have been allowed to enter Sweden directly since the 11th October.

      From the Swedish government website “people travelling to Sweden who can present a vaccination certificate issued in the United Kingdom are exempt from the entry ban and test requirement”.

      Link here:

      Obviously, this could change, so make sure you keep up-to-date with the rules. We will most likely report on any changes if they do happen though.

      Let me know if you have any more questions,

      Becky Waterton, The Local Sweden

  3. Any thoughts on what will be considered acceptable proof of vaccination? I have a hard time believing the flimsy paper CDC vaccination card will be accepted at the border.

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