Article from Ministry of Justice

Questions and answers about the entry ban to Sweden

Published Updated

The Government has decided on a ban on entry to Sweden to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 entering the country or being spread to other countries. Rules and exemptions differ depending on which country you are travelling from.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations

Please note that people travelling into Sweden from abroad must follow the Public Health Agency's updated recommendations upon arrival.

The following currently applies

Entry from EU/EEA countries

A temporary ban for entry from EU/EEA States and certain other states has been in force since February 2021. To travel to Sweden from EU/EEA countries, including the Nordic countries, a EU Digital COVID Certificate or a corresponding certificate must be presented when entering Sweden. This requirement applies to foreign citizens aged 18 and over. The same rules apply to people travelling from Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City. There are exemptions for various categories of travellers. There is also a special rule for those who commute for work or study. See below for information on exemptions.

Entry from countries outside the EU/EEA

A temporary ban on non-essential travel from countries outside the EU/EEA to Sweden has been in effect since March 2020. To travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU/EEA, including the United Kingdom, you must be covered by at least one of the exemptions from the entry ban and also be able to present a negative COVID-19 test or be exempt from the test requirement. Exemptions from the entry ban and test requirement apply for several categories of travellers, including for those with a vaccination certificate issued in certain countries. See below for information on exemptions.

The restrictions for entry into Sweden currently apply until 31 January 2022. It is presently unclear how long the different entry bans will apply.


On 18 January, the Government adopted amendments to the ban on entry into Sweden that will apply from 21 January 2022. In brief, the amendments mean that the entry restrictions will revert to those in force before 28 December 2021. Exemptions from the entry ban and test requirement apply for several categories of travellers, including for those with a vaccination certificate issued in certain countries. The Government also decided to expand the list of countries with approved vaccine certificates. 
Press release: Amendments to the entry ban for people who travel to Sweden 

The following categories are exempt from the certificate requirement (EU Digital COVID Certificate, or a corresponding certificate):

  • Swedish citizens
  • People who repeatedly cross the border to work or study in Sweden or another state, and who can present a vaccination certificate or a certificate showing a negative result for ongoing COVID-19 infection from a test conducted within a week prior to arrival in Sweden
  • Children under the age of 18
  • People who live in Sweden
  • People with imperative family reasons
  • Personnel transporting goods and other staff in the transport sector
  • People who carry out, are involved in or are being transported by medical transport services
  • People who are to undergo surgery or other types of care that cannot be delayed
  • People who need to cross the border to engage in reindeer husbandry
  • Seafarers
  • People covered by Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Aliens Act (2005:716), including diplomats and consular officers who are employed in Sweden by foreign states and their families and employees
  • People who have been invited in a separate procedure by the Government Offices
  • Personnel within the scope of international police, customs or emergency services cooperation
  • People travelling between Bornholm and another part of Denmark via Sweden
  • People in need of international protection or who have other humanitarian grounds.

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.

Please note that people travelling into Sweden from abroad must follow the Public Health Agency's updated recommendations upon arrival. 
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden)

The entry ban applies to all foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from these countries. However, exemptions from the entry ban are also made for certain categories of travellers.

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 72 hours prior to arrival. There are also certain exemptions from the test requirement. These exemptions are outlined below under “What exemptions from the test requirement applies for entry from third countries?”.

The entry ban does not apply to people who:

  • are an EEA citizen or a citizen of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City;
  • have long-term resident status in Sweden or another EU Member State;
  • have a residence permit in Sweden or another EEA state, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City;
  • 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;
  • have close 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 the above points or to a Swedish citizen, for example a spouse, cohabiting partner, civil partner or child under the age of 21;
  • 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), i.e. UK citizens who are holding or have applied for residence status;
  • live in Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macao, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates or Uruguay. (The list of countries is continually being revised at EU level and has been changed multiple times.)
  • can present a certificate showing that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine and that the certificate was issued in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, the Faroe Islands, Georgia, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jersey, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay or the Vatican City, and children under the age of 18 travelling together with such a person. (The list of countries is updated continuously.). The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for information about the standards that vaccination certificates as above must meet.
    Certificate requirements for foreign nationals travelling to Sweden (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

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:

  • people with imperative family reasons;
  • passengers in transit;
  • frontier workers;
  • people who travel for the purpose of studying;
  • personnel transporting goods and other staff in the transport sector;
  • seasonal workers in the agricultural, forestry and horticulture sectors;
  • healthcare workers, researchers in health and medical care and elderly staff;
  • 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;
  • 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 international elite sports competitions and similar international elite competitions;
  • people who have been invited in a separate procedure by the Government Offices;
  • seafarers;
  • people covered by Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Aliens Act (2005:716), for example diplomats and consular staff stationed in Sweden, and their families and staff;
  • people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.

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.

Please note that people travelling into Sweden from abroad must follow the Public Health Agency's updated recommendations upon arrival.
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

The following categories are exempt from the test requirement:

  • Swedish citizens;
  • children under the age of 18;
  • people with long-term resident status in Sweden;
  • people who have a right of residence or a residence permit in Sweden;
  • citizens of the United Kingdom who are holding or have applied for residence status;
  • people with imperative family reasons;
  • people in the transport sector;
  • seafarers;
  • people covered by Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Aliens Act (2005:716), for example diplomats and consular staff stationed in Sweden, and their families and staff;
  • people who have been invited in a separate procedure by the Government Offices;
  • people in need of international protection or with other humanitarian grounds;
  • people who can present a EU Digital COVID Certificate;
  • people who can present a certificate showing that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine and that the certificate was issued in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cabo Verde, El Salvador, the Faroe Islands, Georgia, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jersey, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, or the Vatican City, and children under the age of 18 travelling together with such a person. (The list of countries is updated continuously.).
    The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for information about the standards that vaccination certificates as above must meet.
    Certificate requirements for foreign nationals travelling to Sweden (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

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.

Please note that people travelling into Sweden from abroad must follow the Public Health Agency's updated recommendations upon arrival.
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad (The Public Health Agency of Sweden website)

The Government refers to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for information concerning the criteria for certificates and negative test results.

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. 

The Government is well aware that an entry ban has negative consequences in many ways. Therefore, these are not decisions that have been taken lightly. But in this pandemic, strong measures have been required and tough decisions have had to be taken. Right now it is necessary to prevent further spread of the virus and loss of human lives.

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.

Press releases about the entry ban

Do you have questions?

For questions about COVID-19, you can call the national information number 113 13. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

From abroad, call +46 (0)77 33 113 13.

How long will the entry ban apply?

The restrictions for entry into Sweden currently apply until 31 January 2022. It is presently unclear how long the different entry bans will apply.

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