Sweden’s tourism industry is set for a boost following the government decision to remove all border restrictions for travelers from the EU and Nordic region. However, the travel ban remains in place for so-called ‘third countries’ outside the EU until March 31, with some exemptions.
The rule change had been expected and continues the loosening of Scandinavia travel restrictions as the region’s health services are coping relatively well with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Together with the new travel rules, Sweden has lifted almost all Covid-19 related rules and restrictions within the country. Capacity limits on indoor events, requirements for organizers of large events to require a Covid pass from all participants, and a curfew on alcohol sales in bars and restaurants were among the national measures that were removed.
Open to travel from within Europe
Valid from February 9, the new rules mean anyone traveling from an EU member country, Iceland or Norway is free to enter Sweden regardless of vaccination status and with no requirement to show a negative test result.
The health ministry told The Local last week that entry restrictions are under continuous review and “it is important that the restrictions do not go beyond what is justified.”
Sweden’s travel rules for others
The situation remains more complex for those outside the EU or Nordic region. Sweden has extended its travel ban for non-EU/EEA residents until March 31, but there are many exemptions in place.
Foreign citizens traveling to Sweden from these countries must meet one of the exemptions and in some cases must also provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival.
Full details on the exemptions are available from the Swedish police, but include travelers holding vaccine certificates from the U.K. and U.S. once 14 days have passed since the second vaccination dose.