Sweden considers lifting entry ban for vaccinated travellers from UK and US

Sweden considers lifting entry ban for vaccinated travellers from UK and US
File photo of a nurse administering the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK. Photo: Steve Parsons/AP
The Swedish government has said it may exempt vaccinated tourists from certain non-EU countries from its Covid entry restrictions.

The EU recommends that member states allow vaccinated travellers (at least those who have received a Covid vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency, EMA) to travel to their countries from outside the EU, but Sweden has so far not followed that principle.

When asked by The Local why not, a press spokesperson for Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told us on Wednesday: “I’ll get back to you as soon as we have the opportunity.”

But on Thursday, as the government re-added six countries including the US to its non-EU/EEA entry ban, it said it was “exploring the possibility” of exempting “fully vaccinated residents of certain third countries”, but offered no indication as to when that might happen.

“There are a number of countries with which Sweden has close relations. There, the government will now investigate the possibility of exempting fully vaccinated residents in certain third countries,” Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told the TT news agency on Thursday morning.

“I am thinking primarily of the United Kingdom, but also the United States, even though the United States is more complex and many states have very different rules,” he said.

There was no more information immediately available, but the following Covid vaccines are EMA-authorised: Spikevax (Moderna), Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) and Johnson & Johnson (also called Janssen). Covishield, India’s version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has not been approved by the EMA. It is up to individual EU states to decide whether or not to allow entry for people vaccinated with jabs enrolled on the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing, which Covishield is, but Damberg did not say anything about it.

The Swedish government on Thursday reimposed entry restrictions on travellers from the US, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia, based on an EU recommendation and effective from September 6th. These countries were previously exempt.

The entry ban since before also applies to the UK, which is no longer an EU country, as well as many other non-EU countries.

That doesn’t necessarily mean all travel from those countries is banned, as travellers may fall into another exempted category, such as travelling for urgent family reasons or if they have EU citizenship or a Swedish residence permit or residence status.

Sweden already allows vaccinated travellers with an EU Digital Covid Certificate to enter the country from another EU member state, and it currently has no restrictions at all in place for people travelling from the Nordics (Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland). That goes for everyone travelling via one of those countries, regardless of their original point of departure.


Member comments

  1. As I understand it, two jabs will keep you out of hospital. But you can still spread it.

    The experts told us very early on, that you can have the virus for up to 14 days before it will show as a positive test.
    So that suggests all travelers should be officially quarantined for 14 days.

    This virus has been consistently under estimated. That’s why I say ‘officially quarantined’
    Meaning locked up, run by the army, ankle bracelets, what ever it takes.
    If you have to travel at this time, accept that it’s only 14 days of your lifetime.
    It has been proven that people can’t be trusted to voluntarily quarantine.

    The experts also told us the virus travels in vapour from our breathing.
    Eventually this lands on a surface, where it can live for some time.
    They also told us it is killed by soapy water.

    We have watched the Delta variant since Dec 2020, as it swept across the world.

    So, I assume ALL international arrivals and ALL their baggage, walk into a sealed tunnel and mist of soapy water.
    They walk on a saturated carpet, do “Customs” etc. Then same all the way to the bus that takes them to quarantine.
    Then same story there, all the way to their room. The bus of course is cleaned after every use.

    It seems to me, Governments didn’t listen to the experts and used an amateur slapdash approach.
    Recently a quarantine hotel informed us, that the infection was carried on a draft of air from one room to another.
    They made it sound like ‘Breaking News’ – sounds like CYA to me.

    I know it’s expensive to set up a really good system, but top quality is often cheaper in the long run.
    All Governments are throwing money at the virus like there is no tomorrow.
    I think a serious effort at the border would be money well spent.

    UK and other island nations have an advantage.
    At this stage I’ve seen no suggestion that the virus blew in on the wind. It arrives on ships and planes.
    With good border procedures they wouldn’t need to have got into this circus of contact tracing, to the extent they have.
    Time to get water tight.

    Faced with an over flowing bath, the average 10 year old, wouldn’t put pots and pans around to catch the water.
    They would turn off the tap!

    I think we would all like to know how thorough is your country’s border protection? Please tell us.

  2. This story contradicts the other lead story on the Local . Here it states that americans can now enter Sweden and in the other it states Sweden is restricting or banning Americans and six other countries because of Covid . Make your minds up please .

  3. I’d like to see my Swedish family this year. We’re vaccinated. I don’t see why they don’t lift the US ban, especially if we’re tested before we arrive.

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