EXPLAINED: Can you travel to Sweden via Denmark?

EXPLAINED: Can you travel to Sweden via Denmark?
A stop in Denmark could be the way to get to Sweden if you need to travel from a non-EU country. Photo: Fredrik Hagen/NTB scanpix/TT
Denmark recently adjusted its entry requirements which means that some non-EU residents who are unable to come to Sweden may be able to enter via the neighbouring country.

At the moment, Sweden has entry bans in place that affect all non-EU countries except seven: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, or Thailand. 

This means that if you are travelling to Sweden from a non-EU country that’s not on that short list, you need to fall into a category that is exempt from the ban. These categories include Swedish residents, EU citizens, and people travelling for essential work or urgent family reasons among some others.

If you don’t fall under those conditions, say if you want to travel from the UK, US or India to Sweden to visit family or friends, you cannot enter Sweden directly, and that entry ban is in place until at least August 31st.

But there may be ways for you to get here if you need to, as Sweden’s travel ban is based on the country you travel from.

This means that if you travel to Sweden via a country exempt from the travel ban (including all EU and EEA countries), you may be able to enter.

Denmark has a separate system for entering the country, with three levels of restrictions for “yellow”, “orange” and “red” countries. Travel from yellow list countries does not require proof of a “worthy purpose” of travel, but that list is identical to Sweden’s list of countries exempt from the travel ban.

Travel from orange list countries requires proof of a “worthy purpose” of travel, and you need to be tested before you board your flight to Denmark, and to get tested again and self-isolate on arrival. 

But there is one important additional exception.

From June 5th, Denmark announced that it people from OECD third countries who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved for use by the EU will also be allowed to enter even without a “worthy purpose” of travel. These people will also not need to be tested or to isolate on arrival. OECD countries outside the EU/EEA are Canada, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and US.

The requirement is proof that you received a second dose of an approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson, though the latter only requires one dose) at least 14 days before travel. And it does not apply for countries on Denmark’s red list, which at the time of writing included: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India and Nepal. You can keep up to date with Denmark’s travel rules on the national Covid-19 travel website (in English and German).

In order to travel from Denmark to Sweden, there are currently no requirements in place either to show a negative Covid-19 test or to prove a worthy purpose of travel, regardless of your nationality (note that if you’re travelling to Sweden from an EU/EEA country other than Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, you have to show a negative test). Travellers should note however that entry to Sweden is always at the discretion of the individual border officer, so there is no guarantee you will be able to cross the border into Sweden.

Have you got a question about travel to or from Sweden, or do you have a story to share? You are welcome to contact our editorial team at [email protected].

Member comments

  1. I am a Uruguayan national and will be starting my studies in Copenhagen in September.
    Currently i can only enter Spain within the EU. I had many people tell me that i can fly to Spain and then drive or take a bus to Copenhagen as there is border controls. Anybody knows if this is true?


  2. The article says “But there may be ways for you to get here if you need to, as Sweden’s travel ban is based on the country you travel from.”

    Do you have a reliable source for this?


  3. Hej, can anyone advise me. You can enter Sweden from the UK if you have an ’urgent family matter.’ Can anyone confirm what constitutes as ’urgent’? We had a baby in April and are very ready for grandparents to visit but can’t find anywhere if this constitutes as urgent.

  4. This article is just about tourist ( without a “worthy purpose” of travel), right? I would like to see the same subject for people who have a residence permit but are not yet in Sweden.

  5. Your article states that it’s up to the border police to decide if you get in . How can Sweden refuse entry to people from the US if their own stated Covid policy says specifically that anyone can enter from Denmark regardless of nationality?

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