Sweden to exempt international elite gamers from non-EU entry ban

The Swedish government has proposed a new exemption to the non-EU entry ban, which would make it easier for esports players to take part in competitions in Sweden.

Sweden to exempt international elite gamers from non-EU entry ban
The international esports competition Dreamhack in Stockholm in 2016. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has had a ban in place on travel from most non-EU/EEA countries since March last year, which was introduced in line with EU recommendations at the time to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But there are several exemptions, including if you live in Sweden or the EU, if you’re travelling for certain purposes such as urgent family reasons and vital work, or if you’re travelling from certain low-infection countries which are decided at the EU level.

There is also an exemption in place for sportspeople who are travelling to Sweden to take part in, or to carry out vital work at, international competitions at the elite level.

The government now wants to extend that exemption to esports competitors. Sweden has one of the world’s most vibrant esports and gaming scenes, tapping into a billion-dollar industry. The world’s largest LAN party, DreamHack, was founded in Sweden in the 1990s.

“I am pleased that we can now take further steps to allow for international esports events even in pandemic times. Sweden has long been a pioneer in esports, something we must continue to protect,” said Culture and Democracy Minister Amanda Lind, who is also responsible for the government’s sports portfolio, in a statement.

The justice ministry on Friday invited relevant organisations and authorities to comment on the proposal, which – if the rule changes go ahead – would come into effect on August 23rd.

The proposed text of the law would state that foreigners are exempt from the entry ban if they are “persons travelling for the purpose of performing highly qualified work, if their work is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed remotely, including persons who are to participate in, or perform necessary tasks at, international elite sports competitions or similar international elite competitions” (proposed new addition in italics).

Sweden’s non-EU entry ban is currently in place until August 31st.

Member comments

  1. The past year has shown us, that Athletes function outside of society. They do not matter and do not contribute to advancement of human life. Obviously, “opium for the people” needs to be delivered, i get that. The masses have to be kept calm. Those who are vital stil suffer the consequences, even more so e-gamer, wtf. It is right there in the name, it is live on the internet, bruuh.

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Öresund Bridge raises toll for single journeys between Sweden and Denmark

The Öresund Bridge on Thursday increased its toll for single journeys but said that new discount rates will be introduced.

Öresund Bridge raises toll for single journeys between Sweden and Denmark

The bridge’s operator Öresundsbron set out the changes to toll prices in a press statement on Tuesday.

“We are making it cheaper for those who travel with us the most and the price will go up for those who travel less,” Öresundsbron director of sales and marketing Berit Vestergaard said at a briefing on the price changes.

The toll price for a one-way crossing on the Öresund Bridge was raised to 645 Swedish kronor (440 Danish kroner) from the previous 610 kronor (415 kroner) on Tuesday, a 6 percent increase.

Discount offers for both private and business customers will provide bigger savings for frequent bridge users under the new price structure.

While the annual fee to register for one of the Öresund Bridge’s range of discount offers goes up from 495 Swedish kronor (335 Danish kroner) to 499 kronor(349 kroner), the price per journey falls by 6-7 percent or 8-12 kroner per journey.

A breakdown of the Öresund Bridge price changes in full. Photo: Öresundsbron

Increased prices on single trips allow the cost of a crossing for a discount customer to be reduced, Vestergaard said.

“We want to offer our customers a cheaper price and we are doing it at a time when many other things are becoming more expensive,” she said in the statement.

“It will simply be cheaper and easier to cross the Öresund with a discount offer. The price per journey will fall by around 7 percent,” she said.

Tuesday’s changes mean that motorists registered for discount offers will no longer need to carry an electronic tag to register at the toll. Instead, tolls will use number plate recognition. Cars must be registered on the Öresundsbron website.

Discount schemes for the bridge have been renamed under three categories: ÖresundGO, ÖresundPENDLER and ÖresundBUSINESS.