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COVID-19

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

It's now possible for fully vaccinated people to travel from the US to 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

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.

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. 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.

  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: https://www.government.se/press-releases/2021/10/vaccinated-travellers-to-sweden-from-the-uk-to-be-exempted-from-entry-ban-and-test-requirement/

      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. 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: https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/faq/ 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.

      Best,

      Becky Waterton

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COVID-19

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

Covid-19 has not been classified as a "critical threat to society" in Sweden since April. But the Swedish Public Health Agency still recommends that everyone aged 12 and above get vaccinated. So when should you get your next dose?

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

As winter approaches, it’s a good time to check that you’re up to date on your booster shots.

If you’re aged 12 or older, the agency recommends that you should at least have completed your primary dose of the vaccine, which comprises two shots. Because vaccine efficacy wanes over time, if you are aged 18 and above, you should have already had your third dose.

The booster dose, called a påfyllnadsdos, can be administered a minimum of four months after the primary dose or the most recent booster. A booster shot is recommended even if you have tested positive for Covid-19 since your most recent vaccination, because the protection offered by a vaccine is more reliable than that offered by an infection.

The agency has also warned that the Omicron BA.5 variant spreads more easily than previous Covid-19 mutations.

Deliveries of two of the new vaccines targeting the new variant, Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1, have arrived in Sweden but have not yet reached all health regions, meaning it is not certain that if you will currently receive the updated vaccine. 

A third vaccine, an adapted version of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), is expected to arrive in Sweden in October. 

READ ALSO: When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The höstdosen, or “autumn vaccine”

On September 1, the agency issued new guidelines for a höstdosen, or autumn vaccine dose.

During the campaign, all adults aged 18 and over who belong to an at-risk group are recommended to get a booster dose, as are seniors aged 65 and above. 

Risk categories include people who are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, have heart and lung diseases, or have Down syndrome.

You can get the autumn booster regardless of how many vaccine doses you may have received, which means it might be a fourth shot for some people, and a fifth for others.

The autumn vaccine is also available for those aged 18-64 who do not fall into any of the at-risk categories but would like a fourth dose. The Swedish Public Health Agency has said that regional health providers must make booster doses available to those who want them.

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Folkhälsomyndigheten

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Swedish Public Health Agency

How do I get an appointment for the autumn dose? 

Region Stockholm has been offering appointments for an autumn vaccination to everyone over 18 since September 12th. You can book a dose through the Alltid Öppet app

In Region Skåne, the region responsible for healthcare in Malmö and Lund, appointments for an autumn vaccine have been available since August 22nd. Appointments are available for vaccinations in Region Stockholm, as are drop-in times at locations listed on 1177.se.

In Region Västergötland, the region responsible for healthcare in Gothenburg, health centres, or vårdcentraler, are prioritising people aged 80 and older.

Those in other categories, including at-risk adults 18 and older and seniors over 65, are requested to make their vaccination appointments with other providers through 1177.se

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