Entry restrictions to Sweden from China

Due to the current covid situation entry restrictions will be in force from 7 January 2023 for foreign citizens entering Sweden directly from China without a negative covid test. Swedish citizens and citizens of EU/EEA countries are not affected.

Updated: 2023-01-27.

Foreign citizens age 12 or above entering Sweden directly from China, will from January 7th till February 18th 2023 need to present a certificate of negative covid-19 test max 48 hours old. Regardless of vaccine status.

More information

Swedish citizens and citizens of an EU/EEA country, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican are exempted and can enter Sweden without a negative covid-19 test.   

The test requirement is only enforced when travelling directly from China, transit via another country is often considered entry from the transit country. If the transit country is part of the Schengen area, processing for immigration  will be done there. Questions about entry to other countries should be posed to the authorities of the country in question. Ask the airline where processing for immigration will happen.

Negative test required for entry 

According to the requirements set by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the test certificate needs to be negative for ongoing covid-19 infection, and should be in Swedish or English. The certificate should contain the following information:

  • time of testing
  • name and date of birth of the holder 
  • name and contact info to the issuer or the laboratory performing the test. 

PCR tests or other NAAT tests, as well as EU approved antigen tests (rapid tests), are accepted. Self-administered tests are not accepted. 

The certificate needs to document that max 48 hours have passed since the test was taken, by the time of border crossing into Sweden. The test must be taken before departure, it is not possible to be tested after arrival. Anti-bodies tests are not accepted. Vaccine or recovery certificates does not grant exemption from the test requirement. 


Document exemptions

Please note that it is the traveler’s own responsibility during border control to document how an exemption applies, e.g. with employment contract, service contract, pay slips, birth- or adoption certificate, doctor's notes and/or extracts from the population register.

The following categories are exempt from the requirement to hold a negative covid-19 test:

  • Swedish citizens 
  • Children under 12 years of age
  • EEA citizens or citizens in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican
  • Persons holding long-term resident status in Sweden or another EU country 
  • Persons holding valid residence permits in Sweden or another EEA country, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican
  • Persons holding a valid national visa in Sweden, or a valid national visa valid for more than three months in another EEA country, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican
  • Persons who can document close family ties, such as husband, wife, common-law partner, partner or children under 18 to Swedish citizens, EEA citizens or foreigners holding residence permit, residence status or national (D) visa in Sweden or an EEA country, as well as parents to minor children (under 18) to any of these categories
  • Persons who are citizens of the UK and their family members holding or having applied for residence status
  • Diplomatic staff or salaried consular officers employed in Sweden, and their family members and staff, and foreign couriers
  • Persons employed by international organizations or who are invited by such organisations and whose presence is crucial to the organization's operation, military staff and others working for international defence cooperation, humanitarian aid or civil defence 
  • Persons with urgent family reasons 
  • Persons in need of international protection or with other humanitarian needs 
  • Persons invited by the Swedish Government Office
  • Crew transporting goods or passengers, and others working with transportation 
  • Sea men

Urgent family reasons

Considered to be an urgent or acute situation, illness or accident of a family member which makes the foreigner's presence necessary. Examples of supporting documents: 

  • doctor's notice
  • funeral invitation
  • death certificate
  • notice of maternity care
  • notice of palliative care
  • other notices from health care documenting acute illness or accident

Even documentation of family ties might be needed, e.g. birth certificate, adoption certificate, marriage licence etc. 

These are only examples. Documents should be in or translated to a Scandinavian language or English. It is not possible in advance to answer which kind of documentation is needed, or assess if a certain certificate is sufficient.  

Please note that Swedish Police answers individual questions by e-mail and telephone with a general reference to the current legal framework. This is not a pre-approval. The operators at 114 14 have access to the same information which can be found on this website. 

Ordinary rules for border crossing according to the Schengen Border Code is still in effect, and since 2015 Swedish Police have been able to perform temporary border control at the internal border, independent of covid restrictions. 

Swedish Police can not guarantee that it will be possible to enter Sweden at a future date, since the situation changes and rules will be adjusted accordingly. Updates will be published on a regular basis on government.se.

Changes after 1 January 2021 due to Brexit 

Citizens of the UK or their family members are, as a result of Brexit, no longer EU citizens. This means that the same rules apply to UK citizens as other third country citizens. In order to enter Sweden from China they need to be covered by one of the exemptions mentioned, or hold a kind of residence status which UK citizens could apply for until the end of 2021. Even documentation of an open application for residence status grants the holder exemption from the negative test requirement, as long as no decision has been made yet. 

All decisions will be made by the border police during border crossing

Swedish Police is responsible for enforcing laws and regulations, and will be working to provide uniform and legally sound guidelines for enforcement. Specific details about interpretation of exemptions, will be decided on a case to case basis.   

All decisions about how exemptions are to be understood, will be made during border control, and no pre-approvals or certificates will be issued by Swedish Police. It is not possible to apply for exemptions by post, e-mail or telephone.

If you are denied entry to Sweden you will receive a removal decission with the reasons for why entry was denied. This can be appealed to the Swedish Migration Agency according to regular procedures. More information on how, will be provided on your written decision. It is not possible to contact Swedish Police by e-mail or telephone to appeal. 

A removal decission due to the temporary entry restrictions from China will cease to be valid once the decission has been executed, or at the latest when ordinance 2023:2 expires.

Ett beslut om avvisning på grund av de tillfälliga inreserestriktionerna från Kina slutar att gälla när beslutet har verkställts, eller senast vid den tidpunkt då förordning 2023:2 upphör att gälla.


The right to apply for asylum is not affected by the temporary entry restrictions, if somone wants to apply for asylum at the border they will be allowed to do so. More information about applying for asylum can be found on the Swedish Migration Agency's website. Asylum seekers are also exempted the requirement to hold a negative covid-19 test. 

Legal framework

It is important to note that the same legal framework as under normal circumstances, is still in effect. Meaning the Schengen Border Code and the Visa Code. For this reason a valid travel document like a passport of national id card, should always be presented. Also a valid visa is required, if applicable. 

Questions regarding visas and residence permits should be posed to the Swedish Migration Agency.

EU Commission's calculator of travel days remaining during a Schengen short-stay visa.