EXPLAINED: Where can you travel to from Sweden this summer?

EXPLAINED: Where can you travel to from Sweden this summer?
A family at an airport wearing face masks. Photo: Marta Lavandier/AP
Vaccinations, more opportunities for testing, and lower infection rates make travel a possibility, but it is crucial to keep track of what paperwork and tests are required to cross the border. Here's a look at the situation in several European countries.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry (UD) no longer advises against non-essential travel to EU and EEA countries, or to the UK. 

From July 1st, people who have been vaccinated in Sweden will be able to apply for a Covid-19 pass, according to EU-wide standards, which will include records of Covid-19 vaccines, antibodies and Covid-19 tests. Multiple European countries plan to join this system from July 1st, and some countries already welcome fully vaccinated travellers without a negative Covid-19 test.

However, different countries have different rules when it comes to entry, test requirements and quarantine requirements, with some of Sweden’s neighbours still closed to tourism from Sweden and others classifying it as a “high risk” country.

These are the entry requirements for travellers from Sweden as of June 10th, 2021, for some popular European destinations. Apart from this, travellers need to check which local restrictions are in place in each country, for example regarding compulsory face masks, curfews and the like.

Austria

On June 1st, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden were added to the list of countries which do not need to self-isolate upon arrival in Austria. All travellers must show either a negative Covid-19 test (PCR test of no more than 72 hours or an antigen test of no more than 48 hours), vaccine certificate or proof of past infection in the last six months. Children under 10 do not need to have a Covid-19 test. 

Vaccinated travellers will be accepted with either one or two doses. You are considered vaccinated 22 days after receiving the dose and this is accepted for three months after the first dose, then for a further six months after the second dose. 

Travellers from certain countries face somewhat harsher entry requirements including the need to obtain a pre-travel clearance or to quarantine upon arriving. Sweden is currently not on the list of these countries but more information is available at austria.info.

Croatia

A negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old, or an antigen test no more than 48 hours old is necessary for entry.

Border authorities will also accept proof of either one or two vaccine doses for entry. A few days must have passed since the vaccination for it to be approved. Those who can show proof of antibodies in combination with one dose of the vaccine are also able to enter. 

Those who have neither of these documents can get tested upon entry and then self isolate until receiving a negative test result.

Travellers are also recommended to fill out the form Entercroatia.

Denmark

To enter Denmark from Sweden, you need a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test. For those who do not live in a border region (Skåne, Blekinge, Halland and Västra Götaland) the test should be a maximum of 48 hours old at arrival in Denmark.

After this a new test must be taken within 24 hours and the traveller must isolate for 10 days. The quarantine can be ended early, however, if you can show a negative Covid-19 test taken no earlier than four days upon arrival.

For those living in border regions, the test can be up to 72 hours old and you are exempt from other test and quarantine requirements.

Those who can show a document proving full vaccination can travel to Denmark without showing a negative PCR test and are exempt from other test and quarantine requirements.

Those who have been sick and fully recovered from Covid-19 are exempt from test and quarantine requirements if they can show a document proving a positive antibody test or a PCR test that, at the time of entry, is a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 180 days old. 

Finland

Finland remains closed for tourists. Recently, the restrictions were eased slightly to allow some non-citizens to enter the country if they have family in Finland or are attending an essential work trip. It is also possible to enter Finland through a private sailboat.

Even citizens with a Finnish passport and/or who have received two vaccine doses have to meet certain requirements if travelling from a country classed as high risk, including Sweden. This includes a completed health declaration, a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours old (PCR or antigen). Countries classified as high risk are those where the rate of new Covid-19 cases has been higher than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks; in the Public Health Agency’s most recent update on June 10th, Sweden’s two-week incidence rate was 129 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. 

For travellers from high risk countries who are allowed to enter Finland, a voluntary quarantine is encouraged until a second negative Covid-19 test is obtained. A second test can be done no earlier than 72 hours after entry, which can be booked through the service finentry.fi. Those who do not take a second test are recommended to stay isolated for 14 days.

Travellers with proof of a Covid-19 infection in the last six months and children born in 2008 or later are exempt from the recommendation to quarantine if they fall under the entry ban exemptions.

The requirements are updated every two weeks and the current requirements are in place until June 27th.

France

From June 9th, fully vaccinated travellers can enter France without showing a negative PCR test.

For those who have not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine, every traveller over 11 years old must show a negative Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken no more than 72 hours before entry. There is no requirement for isolation or further testing upon arrival, but travellers must fill out a health declaration

Germany

If you are entering Germany from a risk area, high incidence area, or area of variant concern, one needs to register their travel at www.einreiseanmeldung.de. As of June 4th, Sweden became considered a basic risk area, so this no longer applies.

Travellers entering Germany from a risk area (including Sweden) must provide a negative Covid-19 test result, proof of vaccination, or a proof of infection in the last six months. They have up to 48 hours after entry to do this. The test can be a PCR test no older than 72 hours or an antigen test no older than 48 hours. For vaccinated travellers, 14 days must have passed between receiving a vaccination dose and entering Germany. 

All travellers from risk areas, including Sweden,  must proceed directly to their destination and self-isolate for 10 days. During this time, travellers must not go outside or receive guests. The self-isolation can be ended earlier when a negative test result, vaccine certificate or proof of past infection is submitted to the portal www.einreiseanmeldung.de. If the traveller has been to an area of variant concern (including the UK) in the last 10 days, it is not possible to end the quarantine early and you must remain isolated for 14 days. The full list of country classifications can be found here

Greece

In order to travel to Greece from Sweden, travellers need to show a vaccine certificate, a negative PCR test of no more than 72 hours or proof of a Covid-19 infection given by the authorities or a certified laboratory. Everyone over the age of six needs these documents.

Swedish vaccine documents are not yet approved in Greece, thus Swedish travellers will need to show a negative PCR test or proof of past Covid-19 infection upon entry.

The Greek authorities regularly update the entry requirements on their website.

Travelers must also fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) with contact details before departure.

Italy

All travellers over two years of age who enter Italy must show a negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before entry. For those who cannot show such a test there is a requirement for self-isolation as well as health monitoring for 10 days with a new test taken after five days.

Everyone who travels to Italy must fill out the form EU Digital Passenger Locator Form. The form is also available on paper. Those entering the country also should register with the local health authorities of the region they are visiting.

Norway

Norway has strict entry requirements and the country’s borders remain closed for foreign citizens who travel from countries classified as high risk (red) and who do not work or live in Norway. At the time of writing, Sweden is currently classified as a red country.

Those who have Norwegian citizenship may still enter from Sweden, but they need to register their journey digitally no more than 72 hours before arriving. They need to show a negative Covid-19  test taken no more than 24 hours before entry, and must quarantine for up to ten days. Special quarantine hotels exist for this purpose. 

From June 11th at 3pm, there is no longer a requirement quarantine for those who are fully vaccinated or who have been sick with Covid-19 in the last six months and can show documented proof, such as an antibody test.

Spain

From June 7th, Spain has opened their doors for those who can show documentation of vaccination regardless of the country of departure. 

For those travelling from areas classified as high risk and are still not fully vaccinated they can now show a negative antigen test no older than 48 hours upon entry. Before, they required a PCR test taken at most 72 hours before departure. Children under six do not need to show a Covid-19 test.

Anyone who flies to Spain must also fill out a health declaration, so called a FCS-form, no earlier than 48 hours before arrival. This includes all travellers. You can read more about Spain’s requirements from the government’s website.

Switzerland

Everyone travelling to Switzerland by rail, bus, boat or air must fill out an entry form before departure. This can be done at swissplf.admin.ch

All travellers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result. This can be either a PCR test done no more than 72 hours before departure, or an antigen test done no more than 24 hours before departure. Children under 12 do not need to show a Covid-19 test result. Children aged 12-16 have to show a negative test result only if they are travelling from a risk area, including Sweden.

Upon arrival at the Swiss borders, negative test results will be checked on a random basis and here, only a PCR test will be accepted (the government states “If you do not have a valid negative PCR test on entry, you must obtain one as soon as possible”). Furthermore travellers must get a second test upon arrival in Switzerland

For those arriving from a risk area, which currently includes Sweden, travellers must also register their arrival with the relevant Swiss cantonal authority and enter a 10-day quarantine immediately upon arrival. 

Travellers can be exempt from this quarantine if they can show proof that they are fully vaccinated, or have had an infection in the last six months. It is also possible for the quarantine to be waived for travellers who can show that they are travelling for work reasons. Children under 16 are exempt from quarantine. 

On day 7 of the quarantine, it is possible to shorten the quarantine period by taking a new Covid-19 test. Upon a negative test result, the quarantine can be broken. More information can be found here.

UK

Although it’s now a third country, the Swedish government no longer advises against travel to the UK, but there are some rules to be aware of when you arrive.

The UK uses a ‘traffic light’ system categorising countries as red (entry only allowed for British nationals, and mandatory hotel quarantine at the traveller’s expense), amber (entry allowed for any purpose, but travellers must take tests and quarantine) and green (no quarantine needed, but tests required before and after travel).

Sweden is currently on the amber list. This means travellers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test no older than 3 days when they arrive, even if you are vaccinated and/or a British citizen. Then, you need to take tests on the second and eighth days after your arrival; you need to book and pay for this before departure, as well as completing a passenger locator form, and can find more details from the government’s website.

You then need to quarantine for 10 days, which can be done at home or in the place where you are staying, in other words you don’t need to pay for a quarantine hotel. It is possible to use the Test to Release scheme to end quarantine after the fifth day if you get a negative Covid-19 test, which again is the traveller’s responsibility to book and pay for.

The information in this article was provided by the TT news agency for all countries except Austria, Switzerland and Germany, where The Local used information provided by those countries’ national authorities. It was correct to the best of our knowledge as of June 11th, but please be aware the coronavirus situation and travel restrictions may change at short notice.


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