Will foreign Covid vaccine passes be valid at public events in Sweden?

a man getting vaccinated while holding his CDC card
Vaccine passes from approved countries will be valid at public events in Sweden, but it is not yet clear whether this will also include the US-issued CDC card. Photo: Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Sweden plans to introduce Covid-19 vaccine passes at certain public events and gatherings from December 1st. But will foreign vaccine certificates be accepted?

Did you get vaccinated against Covid abroad and are wondering whether or not your vaccine pass will be valid for entry to public events in Sweden?

Keep reading to see what The Local has been able to find out so far about the rules for EU and non-EU Covid vaccine certificates.

I have a Swedish vaccine pass

You’ll be fine, as long as you have received two doses of the Covid vaccine, with your second dose given at least two weeks ago. Note that proof of recovery or a negative test will not be accepted for entry to public events.

You can read more HERE about which public events in Sweden will require vaccine passes, and which will not. 

I have an EU Digital Covid-19 certificate

Holders of EU-issued vaccine passes will be able to use their passes in Sweden.

I have a Covid-19 vaccine pass from an approved country

People with Covid passes from so-called “approved” non-EU countries are able to enter Sweden by presenting their pass on the border. But will they be valid for domestic events too? In general, yes, but there’s one exception: the US.

EXPLAINED: What’s an approved country?

The e-Health Agency, which is the agency currently responsible for issuing Covid-19 vaccine passes in Sweden, confirmed to The Local that vaccine passes from countries that have joined the EU’s vaccine pass system, and can therefore be validated alongside the EU digital certificate, would be valid for public events. The US, which counts as an “approved country” for border purposes, is however not currently included on that list.

The Health Ministry confirmed to The Local on November 26th that US-issued CDC cards will therefore at this stage not be valid at public events, although a spokesperson said they were working on making it possible for vaccinated people from third countries to attend events that require a vaccine certificate, even if they’re not from countries that have joined the EU’s digital vaccine pass system.

I have a Covid-19 vaccine pass from a country that’s not “approved”

See above. This is not expected to grant you access to events from December 1st, but perhaps in the future. We will keep investigating.

Can I turn my overseas Covid pass into a Swedish pass?

Not at the time of writing, although the government has ordered the e-Health Agency to look into the possibility of allowing Swedish residents who were vaccinated abroad to receive a Swedish Covid-19 pass. The deadline for this is the end of the year, but the DN daily reported on November 23rd that it may not be ready until after the holidays.

Can I turn my non-EU Covid pass into an EU Covid pass?

Maybe. Many European countries are further ahead than Sweden when it comes to offering visitors vaccinated outside of the EU the EU Digital Covid Certificate – but note that the rules on which vaccines from which countries are accepted for doing this vary between member states.

But in France, for instance, US visitors can take their CDC vaccine certificate to the pharmacy to get an EU-issued QR code for free. This should at least in theory then be accepted for events in Sweden, too. Switzerland also allows US visitors to convert their CDC card to a Swiss certificate for 30 francs (290 kronor), which lets them use it everywhere in Europe, again including Sweden.

Article by The Local’s Emma Löfgren with research by Becky Waterton. The above information was correct to the best of our knowledge on November 26th, but be aware that Covid rules may change quickly and that many details are still unclear at this stage.

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