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TRAVEL NEWS

Sweden implements new Covid-19 test rules for travel from Norway

Sweden’s new travel restrictions came into force on Tuesday, potentially affecting a large number of travellers from neighbouring Norway.

A file photo of Swedish and Norwegian flags at the old Svinesund Bridge. Many travellers from Norway must present a negative Covid-19 test to enter Sweden as of December 28th, 2021. .
A file photo of Swedish and Norwegian flags at the old Svinesund Bridge. Many travellers from Norway must present a negative Covid-19 test to enter Sweden as of December 28th, 2021. .Photo: Petter BERNTSEN / AFP

As of December 28th, many foreign travellers need to show a negative Covid test to be allowed to enter Sweden, regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated and regardless of which country they’re travelling from – non-EU, EU or any of the Nordic countries.

The test must have been carried out 48 hours before arriving in Sweden and the original test result document must be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English or French.

Swedish citizens and foreign residents who can prove they live in Sweden are still among the categories of travellers who are exempt from showing a negative test.

People travelling from the EU, including Nordic countries Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, also need to show a negative test, regardless of vaccination status.

People who frequently commute across the Swedish border for work or studies can choose to either show a negative test no older than a week, or a valid vaccine pass.

A separate recommendation to get tested after arriving in Sweden still applies, regardless of whether or not a test result was shown on the border. Border commuters are exempt from the recommendation to get tested every time after arriving in Sweden. Instead, they should get tested once a week if they used the vaccine pass to enter. If they instead show a negative test to enter every week, they don’t have to take additional tests.

Sweden’s Public Health Agency has issued guidance on what kind of test will be accepted.

READ ALSO: ‘Harryhandel’: Is the return of cross-border shopping in Norway really a good thing?

The test can be either an antigen test or a PCR test and must have been carried out 48 hours before arriving in Sweden – not 48 hours after you get the result, and not 48 hours after departure, so make sure you plan your trip carefully, especially if it’s long-distance.

The test certificate must also include the following information, and be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English or French:

  • Name and date of birth
  • The date and time for the test
  • The kind of infection you were tested for (i.e. Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 or a variant)
  • What kind of test was used (i.e. antigen, PCR, TMA or LAMP)
  • Information that the test was negative
  • The name and address of the laboratory that carried out or issued the test

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about travelling to, from and within Sweden

The requirement to show a negative test applies to those over the age of 12 and regardless of where in the world you are travelling from, and whether or not you are vaccinated. If you belong to a category of traveller which has to present a negative test and you don’t do so, or if your flight is delayed so that you arrive in Sweden later than 48 hours after it was carried out, border police may refuse entry.

However, previous exemptions from showing a Covid test generally still apply. That means, among other things, that Swedish citizens and foreign residents who can prove they live in Sweden have the right to enter without showing a negative test.

You can find a full list of exemptions on the Swedish Police Authority’s website

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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