This week, Sweden joined neighboring Scandinavian nations Norway and Denmark in embracing a post-COVID future by removing nearly all of its pandemic-related social restrictions and welcoming travelers from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland without any vaccination or testing requirements. This is the first time that any of the three countries has done so.
The existing prohibition on non-essential passengers from third nations will expire on March 31 and tourists from other regions would have to wait until then. Current lists of “authorized” countries in Sweden include the United States, which indicates the country is eligible for an exception from the prohibition that permits American tourists who can provide a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival to visit. Of course, the standard entrance criteria, such as having a valid passport and visa, continue to apply as well.
However, the declaration made this week would basically put an end to all social limitations that have previously been in place inside Sweden. Food enterprises such as restaurants and bars are no longer needed to shut their doors by 11:00 p.m., and customers are no longer required to show their immunization certificates in order to enter such places. Mask-wearing requirements on public transit, as well as capacity restrictions for major indoor events, are no longer in effect.
The Swedish government has bizarrely decided that those who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be obligated to submit their findings, thereby ensuring that the country will no longer have accurate statistics on infection rates. The testing services of private healthcare businesses will continue to be available for people who need negative test results in order to go overseas, but state-funded testing programs have been discontinued.
However, Norway continues to require international visitors to provide proof of full vaccination or prior recovery from COVID-19, or a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 24 hours before their initial departure, despite the recent elimination of quarantine restrictions for inbound foreign travelers. Many of Norway’s own laws were relaxed last week as well, however social distancing standards and the wearing of masks in crowded indoor situations are still strongly advised in the country.
Denmark is the first European country to eliminate all COVID-19 limitations on February 1, becoming the first country in the world to do so. Those traveling from any part of the globe who have confirmation of vaccination or earlier recovery from the virus may now enter the country without having to undergo any testing or quarantine procedures. It has also abandoned the use of digital COVID-19 passports in indoor venues, as well as the urge for social separation and the use of face masks in public places (except in hospitals or nursing homes).
Check out the instructions below for the most up-to-date information about traveling to Sweden:
The majority of passengers from the United States are unable to enter Sweden unless they have documentation of complete COVID-19 vaccinations.
Visit the website visitsweden.com for additional details.