“We continue to work for a solution whereby UK citizens – at the very least, those who are vaccinated – can travel to Sweden. We want to reunite families and get business moving,” ambassador Judith Gough wrote on Twitter, saying that she contacted Justice Minister Morgan Johansson about the travel ban.
Under current Swedish travel rules, entry from most non-EU countries is not permitted unless the traveller falls into one of several exempt categories.
Those categories include all Swedish residents and EU citizens, as well as people travelling for urgent family reasons and certain business travel, for example.
The rules mean that a Swedish citizen could travel to the UK on holiday, after which they could return to Sweden without needing to present any negative Covid-19 test, proof of vaccination, or isolate on arrival – whereas a British citizen who does not belong to an exempt category cannot make the journey even if they are fully vaccinated and/or test negative for the virus.
The exemption for travelling to visit family is narrowly defined in Sweden, typically only referring to partners, spouses, or children under 18, meaning that adult children and their parents have been unable to visit each other, as well as siblings and friends. This means that for many families, the most feasible way of seeing each other in person is to meet in a different EU country which allows entry from both Sweden and the UK.
The EU has recommended that member states include exemptions to their entry bans for travellers fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine, but Sweden has not yet taken this step.