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UPDATED: Who can travel to Sweden now Covid-19 travel rules are lifted?

UPDATED: Sweden's last remaining Covid-19 travel restriction, the non-EU entry ban, expired on March 31st. This means that travel to Sweden is now the same as it was before the pandemic broke out.

UPDATED: Who can travel to Sweden now Covid-19 travel rules are lifted?
File photo of passport control in an airport. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

Who can now travel to Sweden who previously could not? 

The entry ban for non-EU arrivals, which expired on March 31st, meant that travellers from outside the EU, ETA, EFTA and Schengen areas, could not come to Sweden unless they were from one of 16 so-called “exempt countries”, had a Covid vaccine pass issued by one of 26 “approved countries”, or were a returning resident of Sweden.

Now the ban has been lifted, travellers from many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America who were barred under the previous travel rules can now travel to Sweden. 

Who does need to show a vaccination or test certificate, who previously had to? 

Travellers from the 26 approved countries, which included the UK, from April 1st are no longer be required to show a vaccination or test certificate to enter Sweden. 

What travel restrictions still apply? 

Ordinary entry requirements still apply, with travellers from countries which need a visa to enter the Schengen Area required to have a visa or residency permit from Sweden or another Schengen country. 

Do I have to wear a face mask? 

From April 1st, it is no longer recommended to wear a face mask when in airports in Sweden, so if you prefer to wear one, you may find yourself almost alone. 

What about testing? 

There is no longer a recommendation to get a Covid-19 test on arrival in Sweden. There are still testing centres in the departure area for travellers flying outside of Sweden, but the testing stations on arrival at Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter have closed down.

Have any new travel rules been brought in due to the invasion of Ukraine? 

Yes, from the end of March up until September, passengers travelling by ferry to Sweden from another country will need to present valid ID to the company operating the ferry. The ID does not need to be a travel document or passport. It can be a driving license, or other national identity card.

You can find the announcement of the new checks here, and the latest information from the Swedish Transport Agency, which is responsible for checking that ferry companies are recording the information, here

What about for Ukrainians fleeing the war? 

Ukrainian citizens can enter Sweden without a visa for up to 90 days with a biometric passport. If you do not have a biometric passport, you no longer need a visa so long as you claim asylum at the border. At that point, your case will be passed on to the Swedish Migration Agency. 

There are normally no border controls for people arriving in Sweden from Poland, Denmark, or Germany, but it is still best to have identity documents with you, even though they are not necessary for claiming asylum. 

Under the EU’s temporary protection directive, Ukrainian citizens, can get a temporary residence permit.

You can apply for this digitally using the Swedish Migration Agency’s new e-service or in person at the offices of the Migration Agency. 

You will need to upload a scan of your biometric passport or other Ukrainian identification documents. You will not have to visit the Migration Agency until your case has been decided. 

Member comments

  1. Thank you for your informative articles. As new residents of Sweden, they help us navigate the sometimes confusing regulations of our new, and wonderful home.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”