Travel to Sweden during the corona pandemic (updated 2021-02-07)

From 6 February 2021 foreign citizens age 18 and above need to document that they do not have an active covid-19 infection in order to enter Sweden. The test can be max 48 hour old.

The Swedish Police Authority does not issue any kinds of pre-approvals or notifications

Nor does it process individual cases by telephone or e-mail. It is not possible to apply for an exemption in advance. The decision in each individual case will be made upon arrival at the border control point based on the presented documentation.

There is an entry ban in effect for travels to Sweden from other countries until 31 March 2021.

The entry regulations differ for entry from:

For entry from another EEA* country, a negative test result is sufficient, but when entering from outside EEA* or from Denmark, Norway or the UK, both a negative covid-19 test is required and you need to be covered by at least one exemption. The test can be max 48 hour old. Foreigners crossing the border for work/frontier workers need to present this with a max one week old. There are, however, exemptions even to the test requirement, one example being foreigners who live in Sweden according to the Swedish Population Registry, or who live in Sweden with a valid residence permit, residence right or residence status

To be considered a resident in Sweden, you must verify that you have resided or will reside in Sweden for at least a year. This can be done e.g. with an excerpt from the Swedish Population registry.

The decision is currently in effect until 31 March 2021 but it might be extended. Exemptions from both the entry ban and the test requirement apply to foreigners with particularly important reasons to enter Sweden.  

Overview entry ban

Swedish citizens

Foreign citizens who are residents according to the Swedish Population Registry, hold a valid residence permit, residence right or residence status. 

Entry from an EEA* country

Entry from a non-EEA* country

Entry from Denmark, Norway or the UK

Covid-19 test required for entry

In general, foreigners need to present a negative covid-19 test result in order to be allowed entry into Sweden.

The test can not be older than 48 hours. Foreigners crossing the border for work purposes/frontier workers need to present a test no older than one week. The test results need to verify that the traveler do not have an ongoing covid-19 infection. According to the The Public Health Agency of Sweden, this can be done with a negative PCR, LAMP or antigen test. The documentation should be in Swedish, English, Norwegian or Danish, and contain the following:

  • Your name,
  • Date and time the test was taken,
  • type of test (PRC, LAMP or antigen),
  • test result,
  • who issued the certificate.

Test of antibodies will not be approved. There are also some exceptions to the requirement to present negative test results.

Please note that the test needs to be taken before departure, it is not possible to get tested upon arrival at the border to Sweden. 

Swedish citizens do not need to bring a negative test result, but they should always follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations for everyone travelling to Sweden from abroad

Travels inside EEA*

Foreigners travelling from another EU country such as France or Finland, a country that is part of the EEA such as Iceland, or from Switzerland, hereafter referred to as EEA*, need to present a negative covid-19 test, but other entry bans are not in effect.

When exception are made for citizens of certain countries, are both EU and EEA citizens, as well as citizens Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican, included in the term of EEA* citizen. 

Please note that a stricter version of the entry ban is imposed on entry from Denmark and Norway (and the UK).

However, since 2015, Swedish Police has the option to perform border control at an inner border: Temporary border controls. 

EEA*

= EEA countries include 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.

Switzerland is not part of the EEA, but is included in the term EEA* on this page. Swiss citizens as well as citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, are included in the term EEA*-citizen.

From January 1st 2021 UK citizens need to be covered by an exemption in order to be allowed to enter Sweden. More information about Brexit.

Entry ban for foreigners traveling from outside EES*

As a general rule, foreigners travelling to Sweden from a non-EEA* country will be denied entry and rejected. This will mainly affect travels to Swedish airports and sea ports, since Sweden does not have any land borders to a country which is not part of EEA*. There are exemptions for EEA* citizens and a select number of identified countries outside EEA*. Those covered by an exemption still need to present a negative covid-19 test, unless they also are exempted from the test requirement. 

Exemptions from the entry ban

Except for Swedish citizens, the following individuals or groups are exempted from the entry ban and are allowed to enter Sweden:

  • Citizens of another EEA state, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican,
  • have the right to reside in Sweden or another EU country.
  • UK citizens who are holding or have applied for residence status, however a stricter entry ban will be in force for entry from the UK, Norway and Denmark.
  • Individuals holding a residence permit or right to reside in Sweden or another EEA* state, holders of a national (class D) visa for Sweden or a national (class D) visa valid for more than three months in another EEA country, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.
  • Individuals with documented family connection, such as spouse, common-law partner, partner or child, to a Swedish citizen, EEA* citizen or foreigner holding residence permit, residence status or national (class D) visa in Sweden or an EEA* country. More information about which family connections are included by the exemption, can be found in Frequently Asked questions. It is not required to hold a residence permit. A visa, however, is required if the foreigner comes from a country where a visa is mandatory to enter Sweden under normal circumstances. 
  • Foreigners who resides in one of the exempted countries.

Exceptions based on need or function

Exceptions can be made for foreigners with particularly urgent personal needs or who are to perform essential functions in Sweden, such as

  • healthcare professionals, and certain other professions in related areas, read more in Frequently Asked Questions.
  • individuals working with the transportation of goods
  • merchant seamen working on cargo or passenger lines,
  • frontier workers
  • people travelling for urgent family reasons in Sweden. More information about this is defined, can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.
  • family members of Swedish citizens working for a Swedish company, a Swedish government agency or an international organization abroad, if the employer is calling home the employee and/or his or her family members.
  • individuals working in international organizations or who are invited by such organizations and whose presence is needed for the operation of the organization, military staff, aid workers or staff working with civil defense
  • military staff
  • transit passengers, 
  • individuals entering Sweden for studies
  • highly skilled professionals, if the work can not be postponed or be done remotely
  • participants or necessary support staff in international professional athletic events
  • foreigners who are going to work within the agricultural, forestry or gardening industry, will be allowed to enter Sweden if they can present proper documentation supporting the purpose of the journey.

In addition to EEA* citizens, foreigners residing in a list of select countries, were also exempted from the entry ban, in addition to the already existing exemptions.

These countries are assessed to be low-risk in terms of contagion. Exemptions will be based on residence in one of the countries, not citizenship. This means that foreigners who can document that they reside in any of these countries, will be allowed to enter Sweden if they do fulfill the entry requirements given in the Schengen Border Code and the Visa Code. The selection of included countries which are considered to fulfill the criterias of exemption, is evaluated on a regular basis and the list will be updated every other week. Questions regarding the selection or evaluation should be posed to EU and the Swedish government.

Current exempted countries:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Previously more countries were on the list, but these countries have been removed since they are no longer assessed to fulfill the exemption criterias.

A foreign citizen who is covered by an exemption will also need to present a negative covid-19 test. Except for the following categories which are exempted from this requirement:

  • Individuals under the age of 18,
  • Individuals who can document that they are long-term residents in Sweden,
  • Individuals holding residence right or residence permit in Sweden,
  • citizens of the UK holding or have applied for residence status
  • individuals working with the transportation of goods and others working within the transportation industry,
  • individuals with urgent family reasons,
  • individuals in need of international protection (e.g. asylum) or with other humanitarian needs,
  • sea men.

Swedish Police can not guarantee that it will be possible to enter Sweden at a specific future date, as the situation is changing and regulations will be adjusted according to the current state. Updates will be published continuously at the Swedish government’s website in English and their Questions and answers – temporary entry ban to Sweden.

Frequently asked questions

No questions regarding individual cases or general application will be answered by the Border Police or 114 14, such questions are instead referred to the published Frequently asked questions. Operator answering 114 14 will have access to the same information which is provided on this website.

Information in Swedish:

Så påverkas resandet till Sverige från länder utanför EU/EES av coronapandemin

Frequently asked questions in Swedish

Border entry points for those who meet the requirements for exemptions

Karta över Sverige med utpekade gränspassager från Norge, Danmark och Finland

About the entry ban to Sweden from the UK, Norway and Denmark

Sweden imposes a stricter entry  ban for foreigners entering from Denmark, Norway and the UK. Even this is in effect until 31 March 2021. The purpose is to reduce and prevent the spread of a new strand of the covid-19 virus.

The Swedish government's questions and answers about the entry ban  
The following categories are exempted:

  • individuals living in Sweden,
  • individuals working in Sweden,
  • individuals traveling via Sweden, between Bornholm and another part of Denmark (should be documented with a ticket, e.g. a BroBizz),
  • health care and medical transports,
  • commercial drivers transporting goods or other transport industry
  • people with urgent family reasons,
  • diplomatic or consular staff on official duty in Sweden representing a foreign nation, and their family members and staff, and foreign couriers,
  • people working in international organizations or who are invited by such organizations and who are necessary for the organization’s functionality,
  • children under 18 who are traveling for the purpose of meeting a parent who live in Sweden or in Bornholm, and the person who is accompanying the child,
  • parents who are travelling for the purpose of meeting a child under 18 who is residing in Sweden,
  • foreigners in need of international protection or with other humanitarian reasons,
  • foreigners who are to have surgery or other urgent medical attention which can not be postponed, in Sweden,
  • military staff and other staff who can document that they enter Sweden for the purpose of international defence cooperation,
  • foreigners who need to cross the border for reindeer herding,
  • air travel transit passengers
  • sea men
  • staff within the scope of international police, customs or emergency response cooperation
  • participants or necessary support staff in international professional athletic events

Foreign citizens covered by these exemptions also need to present a negative test result for ongoing covid-19 infection. Except for the same categories which are exempted from the negative test requirement when entering from the EU and Schengen area in general, which are also exempt when entering from the UK, Norway or Denmark. There is also an additional exemption for officials at Danish authorities or other Danish public bodies travelling on business between Bornholm and another part of Denmark via Sweden.

Changes because of Brexit after 1 January  2021

UK citizens or family members of a UK citizen are  from 1 January  2021 no longer EU citizens since the Brexit. This means that the same regulations  applies to UK citizens as to other third country citizens. In order to be be allowed to enter they will need to be covered by one of the general exemptions mentioned on this website, or they need to bring a new kind of residence status which only UK citizens can apply for, or to physically or electronically document that they have applied for residence status. For example a screenshot of the receipt generated after submiting an application on the Swedish Migration Agency website, with the following text:

"Certificate of submitted application for residence status

You have submitted an application for residence status. While waiting for a final decision, this certificate entitles you to stay in Sweden according to the conditions in 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.

While waiting for a decision you will hold the same rights as a union citizen and can enter EU and continue to live, work and study in Sweden. If you require a visa to stay in Sweden, you will still need a visa to enter Sweden. If you are traveling you may need to show this certificate at border crossing points, together with a passport or UK national ID card.

Evidence of residence status and certificate of application for residence status can be issued electronically, which may involve the border control checking in WILMA if any of these documents, or both, are registered.

UK citizens who are so called frontier workers according to the Aliens’ Act, are exempted if they are to perform necessary functions just like other third country nationals."

As long as the stricter entry ban from Denmark, Norway and the UK is enforced, UK or other foreign citizens  will in general not be allowed to enter Sweden. Foreign citizens need, if covered by at least one exemption, need to present a negative covid-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

Change in border control after Brexit.

Mer information om hur Brexit påverkar gränskontrollen.

Swedish citizens are not affected

Swedish citizens will always be allowed to return to Sweden but they shoudl follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations for everyone travelling to Sweden from abroad.

EU/EEA citizens

EU/EEA citizens and citizens in Switzerland, Andorra, San Marino and the Vatican, and foreigners with residence permit, residence status or class D visas in any EU/EEA country or one of the countries mentioned above, must present a negative covid-19 test, but other entry bans do not apply unless they enter from Norway, Denmark or the UK. 

Close relatives to Swedish citizens or EU/EEA citizens

Close family members of the above mentioned categories will also be allowed to enter if they can document the family connection. They are however not exempt from the stricter entry ban from Norway, Denmark or the UK.

Everyone entering Sweden, except Swedish citizens, need to present a negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

All decisions are made by the Border Police at the Border Crossing Point

The Swedish Police Authority is responsible for applying the legislation and is developing uniform and legally sound procedures for how to do so on an ongoing basis. How exemptions are to be applied will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

All decisions regarding the application of exceptions will be made upon arrival at the border crossing point, and the Swedish Police Authority is not able to issue any kind of certifications or pre-approval notes in advance. It is not possible to apply for an exemption via post, e-mail or telephone.

Asylum

The right to asylum is not affected by the decision. If a person wishes to seek asylum at the border then they will be allowed to do so. No negative test result is required for asylum seekers.  Read more about asylum in the Swedish Migration Agency’s Website. Asylum seekers are exempt from the requirement to bring a negative covid-19-test.

Legal basis

Please note that the same legislation as previously, i.e. the Schengen Border Code, will first and foremost apply for the crossing of borders. This means that valid travel documents must be carried in the form of a passport or national ID card, as well as a valid visa, if needed. It is primarily the traveller’s responsibility to prove their right to enter, based on citizenship or on the current exemptions.

The traveler needs to verify his or her right

It is up to the traveler to verify his or her right to entry, both based on the Schengen Borders Code and the temporary entry ban. It is the individual's responsibility to present sufficient documentation. Questions whether a certain certificate is sufficient or not are found in the FAQ and will not be answered. 

For questions regarding the legal framework and regulations, please refer to the Swedish government's FAQ page in English, as well as the Schengen Borders Code and the Visa Code.