Article from Ministry of Justice

Questions and answers about the entry ban to Sweden

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The Government has decided on a general entry ban for foreign citizens who cannot present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon entry into Sweden. The rules include certain exemptions.

There is already a temporary ban on non-essential travel from other countries to the EU via Sweden. Following a call from the European Council and the European Commission, the entry ban was introduced to mitigate the effects of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reduce the outbreak of COVID-19. In accordance with recommendations from the European Commission and the Council, the entry ban has been extended and amended several times. It currently remains in effect until 31 March 2021.

From 6 February 2021, a separate entry ban from EEA states and certain other states also applies. The requirement to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection – with certain exemptions – also applies upon entry from these states.

The existing decision substantially restricting the possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies. It has been tightened – with the addition of a negative COVID-19 test requirement for groups that are exempt from the entry ban – and extended. These entry bans also apply until 31 March 2021.

Press release: Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden 

Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

Basic information

It means that the Government has decided to temporarily ban non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The entry ban does not apply to Swedish citizens. Exemptions from the entry ban are also made for more categories of travellers. These include, for example, foreign citizens with a Swedish residence permit, people with an essential need or function in Sweden, or residents of certain specified countries.

See below for more information on which exemptions apply.

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. There are also certain exemptions from the test requirement, for example for children, for transport workers and in the event of imperative family reasons.

See below for more information on which exemptions apply.

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

The EU Member States have given their support to a call from the European Council and the European Commission to take measures to temporarily ban non-essential travel to the EU. The purpose is to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 virus is an international emergency requiring a coordinated response. The Government has therefore decided to respond to the call and issue a temporary entry ban in line with the Commission’s recommendations.

The entry ban came into effect on 19 March 2020. It has been extended and currently applies until 31 March 2021. It is presently unclear how long the entry ban will apply.

The entry ban basically applies to foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from all countries except EU Member States, members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The EEA includes all EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway*. 

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban, it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival.

* However, the Government has adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

There are also a number of exemptions from the entry ban and test requirement. To see who is covered by the exemptions, see below.

No, the entry ban only applies to foreign citizens. Swedish citizens can therefore enter the country despite the entry ban.

Nonetheless, Swedes who have been abroad should follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus.

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for guidelines for incoming travellers. According to the Agency, information is also provided at airports and harbours.

Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The EEA includes all EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

Exemptions

The entry ban applies to foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from all countries except EU Member States, members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, with some exemptions.

For a foreign citizen to be exempt from the entry ban will also require them to be able to present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. There are also certain exemptions from the test requirement. These exemptions are outlined below under “The requirement of a negative COVID-19 test”.

The entry ban does not apply to people who:

  1. are an EEA citizen or a citizen of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City;
  2. have long-term resident status in Sweden or another EU Member State;
  3. have a residence permit in Sweden or another EEA state, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City;
  4. have a national visa for Sweden or a national visa valid longer than three months in another EEA State, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City;
  5. have family ties as specified in Chapter 3a, Section 2, first paragraph, or Chapter 5, Section 3, first paragraph, points 1–4, or Section 3a of the Aliens Act (2005:716) to a person covered by any of points 1–4 or to a Swedish citizen;
  6. are a citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member of such a citizen, provided that they are covered by Article 10 of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (OJ L 29, 31.1.2020, p.7); or
  7. live in one of the following countries*
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

* This list of countries is continually being revised at EU level and has been changed multiple times.

In addition, the entry ban does not apply to people with an essential need or function in Sweden. For example, this may be the case for:

  • healthcare workers, researchers in health and medical care and elderly staff;
  • frontier workers;
  • seasonal workers in the agricultural, forestry and horticulture sectors;
  • personnel transporting goods and other staff in the transport sector;
  • people covered by Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Aliens Act (2005:716);
  • people who work in international organisations or are invited by such organisations and whose presence is necessary for the organisations’ activities, military personnel and other personnel within the scope of international defence cooperation, aid workers and civil defence staff;
  • passengers in transit;
  • people with imperative family reasons;
  • seafarers;
  • people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;
  • people who travel for the purpose of studying; and
  • people travelling for the purpose of performing highly skilled work, if their contribution is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed remotely, including people who will take part in or perform necessary tasks at elite sports competitions.

The above list of people who can be considered to have an essential need or function is for illustration only and there may therefore be other categories of people who may be exempted.

It is the responsibility of the enforcing authorities (primarily the Swedish Police Authority) to determine in each individual case how the exemptions are to be interpreted and which decisions are to be made. The Government refers to the Swedish Police Authority for information about the practical application of these rules.

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

The Government has chosen to follow what was agreed at EU level regarding the groups not to be included in the entry ban.

The Government is closely monitoring developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and has continuous contact with the responsible public authorities and other countries.

The requirement of a negative COVID-19 test

It means that a foreign citizen who is covered by an exemption from the entry ban must, upon entry into Sweden, be able to present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. There are a few exemptions from this requirement. The amendment applies as of 6 February 2021, with a number of exemptions. See above for more information on which exemptions apply.

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for information about the standards that certificates showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 must meet.
Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

From 6 February 2021, the requirement of presenting a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection also applies – with some exemptions – upon entry to Sweden from EEA states and certain other states.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

Swedish citizens always have the right to enter Sweden. However, Swedes who have been abroad should follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus.

All other nationalities must be able to present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival, with some exemptions. The exemptions apply to:

  1. people under the age of 18;
  2. people in the transport sector;
  3. seafarers;
  4. people with imperative family reasons;
  5. people in need of international protection or with other humanitarian grounds;
  6. people with long-term resident status in Sweden;
  7. people who have a right of residence or a residence permit in Sweden;
  8. citizens of the United Kingdom or family members of such citizens, provided that they are covered by Article 10 of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (OJ L 29, 31.1.2020, p.7). 

People who are exempt from the requirement to present a test result upon entry should nonetheless follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus.

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for guidelines for incoming travellers. According to the Agency, information is also provided at airports and harbours.
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

No, the requirement to present a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection does not apply to children under the age of 18.

It is crucial that transports of essential goods, such as food or medicines, are not impeded. The European Commission has also recommended that Member States make exceptions for people transporting goods.

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for guidelines for incoming travellers. According to the Agency, information is also provided at airports and harbours.

Swedish citizens always have the right to enter Sweden. However, it is important that Swedish citizens and others who are exempt from the test requirement upon entry follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus. 
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden)

The requirement concerns negative test results for ongoing COVID-19 infection. The test must have been performed a maximum of 48 hours prior to arrival. Positive results from antibody tests will not be accepted.

There is a special rule for commuters, for whom a test conducted no more than one week prior to entry is sufficient.

The Government has authorised the Public Health Agency of Sweden – after the Swedish Police Authority has had the opportunity to comment – to issue regulations specifying the criteria that must be met for a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection to be accepted. The Public Health Agency of Sweden has the relevant expertise in this area.

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for information concerning the criteria for negative test results.
Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

The controls are handled by the Swedish Police Authority and other enforcing authorities. The Government refers to those authorities for information concerning the practicalities of these controls at various border crossing points.

There is no special exemption from either the entry ban or the test requirement for people who can show that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions about the entry ban

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

Swedish citizens who live abroad always have the right to enter Sweden. However, Swedes who have been abroad should follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus. Separate recommendations apply to commuters.
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Commuters of other nationalities must be able to present a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon entry into Sweden. To facilitate commuting, however, commuters can present a test conducted within one week prior to entry into Sweden, rather than 48 hours as applies in other cases.

For further information, please refer to:
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

People with a Swedish residence permit are exempt from the entry ban. Their family members are also exempt. Valid family ties may be a spouse, cohabiting partner or child.

People with residence permits are also exempt from the requirement to present a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection. However, it is not certain that family members will be exempt from this requirement (see above).

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

Some family members of Swedish citizens are exempt from the entry ban. This may include, for example, spouses, cohabiting partners and children.

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. Children, people with residence permits and people with imperative family reasons, and certain others, are exempt from the test requirement.

See above under “The requirement of a negative COVID-19 test” for more information on which exemptions apply.

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

EEA citizens, citizens of Switzerland and people who have certain family ties to these citizens are exempt from the entry ban. The same also applies to citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City, and their family members. Valid family ties may be a spouse, cohabiting partner or child. The EEA includes all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway *.

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. Children, people with imperative family reasons and certain others are exempt from the test requirement (see above)

* The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

That depends on the country they are travelling from. As a general rule, people travelling to Sweden from all countries – except EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – will be denied entry. However, exemptions may be made for several categories of people, including people with certain family ties to Swedish citizens. Exemptions may also be made for people living in certain particularly specified countries (see above). Exemptions may also be made for people with an essential need, such as imperative family reasons.

How exemptions are to be interpreted and what assessments are to be made in an individual case is primarily a matter for the Swedish Police Authority.

Swedish citizens living abroad are not affected by the entry ban.

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. Children, people with imperative family reasons and certain others are exempt from the test requirement.

See above under “The requirement of a negative COVID-19 test” for more information on which exemptions apply.

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

People with a Swedish residence permit for studies or similar reasons are exempt from the entry ban. In addition, people living in certain particularly specified countries (see above) are exempt. Exemptions may also be made for people with an essential need, such as people who travel in order to study.

People with residence permits and people under the age of 18 are also exempt from the requirement to present a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection. If a student is covered by one of the other exemptions from the entry ban, such a certificate may be required as of 6 February (see above).

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

That depends on the country they are travelling from. As a general rule, people travelling to Sweden from all countries – except EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – will be denied entry. However, exemptions may be made for several categories of people, including people with an essential function in Sweden, such as healthcare workers, personnel in the transport sector, certain seasonal workers, and highly skilled workers. Exemptions may also be made for people living in certain particularly specified countries (see above).

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. Transport workers, seafarers and certain others are exempt from the test requirement (see above).

How exemptions are to be interpreted and what assessments are to be made in an individual case is primarily a matter for the Swedish Police Authority.

Swedish citizens living abroad are not affected by the entry ban. However, Swedes who have been abroad should follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations on testing and quarantine, which are intended to curb the spread of the virus.

Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies. Separate exemptions and test requirements for frontier workers also apply.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

That depends on the country they are travelling from. As a general rule, people travelling to Sweden from all countries – except EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – will be denied entry. However, people living in certain particularly specified countries (see above) are exempt from the entry ban.

For a foreign citizen travelling to Sweden to be covered by any of the exemptions from the entry ban it is also a requirement that they can present a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. Transport workers, seafarers and certain others are exempt from the test requirement (see above).

The Government has also adopted a separate entry ban with a testing requirement for entry from EEA states and certain other states. The Government’s earlier decision to substantially restrict possibilities to travel to Sweden from Norway, the United Kingdom and Denmark still applies. Separate exemptions and test requirements for frontier workers also apply.
Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

The right to asylum will not be affected by the decision.

People with an essential need in Sweden – including those in need of international protection or who have other humanitarian grounds – are exempt from the entry ban and the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test, in line with Sweden’s international commitments. This exemption includes asylum seekers and quota refugees.

People with an essential function in Sweden, such as transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff, are exempt from the entry ban.

These workers are also exempt from the requirement to present a certificate showing a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection.

It is crucial that transports of essential goods, such as food or medicines, are not impeded. The European Commission has also recommended to the Member States that people transporting goods should not be included in any entry ban.

How long will the entry ban apply?

The entry ban has been extended and currently applies until 31 March 2021.

European Economic Area (EEA)

In addition to Sweden, the following states are EEA states:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain

Questions and answers about the entry ban from EEA states and certain other states

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