Travel to Sweden from outside EU during the corona outbreak (updated 2021-01-07)

On March 17th the Swedish Government decided to restrict non-essential travels to Sweden across an external border, meaning from other countries than the EU/EEA, except Switzerland and other select countries.

The decision is currently in effect until March 31st 2021.

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.

Sweden imposed an entry ban on 22 December 2020 for travels to Sweden from Denmark and the UK, with the purpose to reduce and prevent the spread of a new strand of the covid-19 virus. The regulation was updated  on 24 December 2020, and again on 1 January 2021. All travels from Denmark or the UK are included, incl. transit, to 21 January 2020. Very few exemptions are applicable. Only commercial drivers transporting goods or passengers, foreign diplomats or consular staff and their families or staff, foreign couriers, people working in or for an international organization or people with urgent family reasons will be allowed to enter Sweden from Denmark or Great Britain. Foreign citizens entering from Denmark and the United Kingdom will also be allowed entry if they can document that they live or work in Sweden, e.g. by holding residence permit or have applied for residence status. Exceptions also apply to people who live on Bornholm and travel, via Sweden, between Bornholm and another part of Denmark, as well as to health and medical personnel who shall perform work on Bornholm and personnel who shall perform health and medical transports. Foreign citizens traveling from the UK must, in addition to be covered by an exemption, also present a negative test result for ongoing covid-19 infection performed within 72 hours prior to arrival by an authorized lab. Staff in the transport sector are exempted from this requirement. Swedish citizens do not need a negative test result since they have an unconditional right to enter Sweden. It applies, however, to their family members.

List over authorized UK labs.
Even test results from the NHS are accepted.  

The right to enter Sweden does not mean you are exempted to follow other requirements or advice in place to limit the spread of covid-19. According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, it is important to stay home, avoid close contact and get tested for covild-19, if you have been in the UK or South Africa and entered Sweden on 12 December 2020 or later.

Recommendations for those travelling or who have travelled to Sweden from the United Kingdom or South Africa.

More information about the stricter entry ban and the exemptions. 

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 countries of exemption:

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

Previously Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria, Morocco, Georgia, Canada and Tunisia were on the list, but these countries have been removed since they are no longer assessed to fulfill the exemption criterias.

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 the European Union via Sweden.

The rapid spread of the Corona virus within the EU is a matter of international concern that requires coordinated action. Member States have responded to the call to restrict non-essential travel to the EU.

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.

A new regulation, under the Act on the Protection of International Threats to Human Health, was decided on March 17 to mitigate the effects of the Corona virus outbreak and reduce its spread. The decision came into effect on March 19 and was initially in effect for 30 days, but was further prolonged till 31 March 2021. Rules and application can change over time, it is the traveler’s responsibility to get updated information from official sources on a regular basis, such as the Swedish government’s website and this site.

Travel ban from countries outside EEA*

As a general rule, foreigners who are not EEA* citizens, 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 a select number of identified countries outside EEA*.

Travels inside EEA* are not affected

Travels from another EU country such as France or Finland, a country that is part of the EEA such as Norway, or from Switzerland, hereafter referred to as EEA*, will not be affected.

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

Until 21 January 2021 a stricter version of the entry ban will be imposed on entry from Denmark, including transit.

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. 

Swedish citizens and certain close relatives are not affected

Swedish citizens will always be allowed to return to Sweden. EEA* citizens and individuals holding residence permits, residence status or class D visas in an EEA* country, are also allowed to enter Sweden. 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 Denmark or the UK until 21 January 2021 unless they can verify that they are covered by an exception. Exceptions to the entry ban may also be made for foreigners who have particularly important reasons for traveling to 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.

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

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.
  • 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 for this category of foreigners  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.
  • Foreigners who are coming to Sweden to study.

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,
  • people travelling for urgent family reasons. 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
  • 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.

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

Changes because of Brexit after January 1st 2021

UK citizens or family members of a UK citizen are  from January 1st 2021 no longer EU citizens since the UK left the EU, the so called Brexit. This means that the same regulations will 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 by a submitted 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 or the UK is in effect, meaning until 21 January 2021, UK or other foreign citizens will in general not be allowed to enter Sweden directly from the UK unless they can verify that they are covered by an exception. Foreign citizens traveling from the UK also need to present a negative test result for ongoing covid-19 infection taken by an authorized lab within 72 hours prior to arrival. It is the traveler’s responsibility to verify that the lab is authorized. Personnel in the transport sector are exempted from this requirement. After this date, the general restrictions for entry from a non-EU/EEA country will apply.

Change in border control after Brexit.

More information about the extended entry ban to Sweden from UK and Denmark.

Mer information om hur Brexit påverkar gränskontrollen.

Mer information om det utökade inreseförbudet från Danmark och Storbritannien till och med 21 januari 2021.

Exempted countries        

In addition to EEA* citizens, foreigners residing in specific countries are exempted from the entry ban and will be allowed to enter Sweden even if they do not reside in or are moving to Sweden. In order to be included in this exemption, it is required to document residence, not citizenship, in one of the following countries:

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

Individuals residing in these countries will be allowed to enter Sweden if they also fulfill the entry requirements according to the Schengen Border Code and the Visa Code.

The countries assessed to fulfill the conditions for exemption, is continuously evaluated and the list will be updated. Please contact EU and the Swedish government with questions concerning the selection.

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. Read more about asylum in the Swedish Migration Agency’s Website.

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 Governments press release or the Swedish government's FAQ page in English, as well as the Schengen Borders Code and the Visa Code.

Laws and links

Lag (2006:1570) om skydd mot internationella hot mot människors hälsa (in Swedish)

Aliens Act (2005:716)

Förordning (2020:127) om tillfälligt inreseförbud till Sverige (in Swedish)

Förordning om ändring i förordningen (2020:127) om tillfälligt inreseförbud till Sverige (in Swedish)

Förordning om dels fortsatt giltighet av förordningen (2020:127) om tillfälligt inreseförbud till Sverige, dels ändring i samma förordning (in Swedish)

Temporary entry ban extended until 31 March 2021 and amended due to Brexit

Förordning om tillfälligt inreseförbud vid resor från Danmark eller Förenade kungariket till Sverige (in Swedish)

Förordning om ändring i förordningen (2020:1258) om tillfälligt inreseförbud vid resor från Danmark eller Förenade kungariket till Sverige, 2020-12-23 (in Swedish)

Förordning om ändring i förordningen (2020:1258) om tillfälligt inreseförbud vid resor från Danmark eller Förenade kungariket till Sverige 2020-12-31 (in Swedish)

Amendments to the exemption from the entry ban for residents of certain countries (Government Offices of Sweden)

Regeringens frågor och svar – tillfälligt inreseförbud till EU via Sverige (in Swedish)

Swedish government Questions and answers – temporary entry ban to the European Union via Sweden

Schengens gränskodex (EU 2016/399) konsoliderad version av 11.06.2019 (in Swedish)

Schengen Border Code (EU 2016/399) consolidated version of 11.06.2019 in English

Viseringskodex (EU 2019/1155) (in Swedish)

Visa Code (EU 2019/1155) in English