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TRAVEL NEWS

KEY POINTS: What Sweden’s travel rules mean for international arrivals

Here's a rundown of Sweden's current border restrictions, and where to find more information.

KEY POINTS: What Sweden's travel rules mean for international arrivals
Make sure you check the entry rules for any countries you are transiting on your way to Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden’s travel rules were once again updated on January 21st, with negative test requirements scrapped for a lot of travellers and vaccine passes reintroduced as valid for travel.

When you travel from another country to Sweden, it is always the entry regulations of the country that you enter from that apply. Therefore, make sure to check the rules for entering Sweden from the last country you will enter on your way to Sweden, if you will be transiting.

Travellers from the EU/EEA and the Nordic countries:

Those entering from EU/EEA countries are not subject to Sweden’s entry ban, and are able to enter the country with a valid vaccine certificate (EU certificates, Swedish certificates, and certificates from so-called “approved countries” are accepted), a negative test carried out within 72 hours of arrival, or proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 within the last six months.

Travellers from Denmark to the Danish island of Bornholm travelling via Sweden are exempt from this requirement, as are Swedish citizens, foreign citizens who live in Sweden, and under-18s. You can find a full list of exemptions on the Swedish government’s website.

Travellers from outside the EU:

Those wishing to enter Sweden from countries outside of the EU must be covered by one of the exemptions from the entry ban to be allowed in to the country (such as residency in an exempted country or EU/EEA citizenship), as well as providing a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Residency in an exempted country can be documented in a number of ways – for example, with a driving licence or ID card from the country, or a residence permit.

Travellers are also exempt from the entry ban as well as from the test requirement if they can show a vaccination certificate from an approved country.

People who are long-term residents in Sweden (long-term defined here as over one year) are exempt from any requirements to show a negative test or a vaccine pass. Several other groups are also exempt, and you can read more about that on the government’s website.

To prove residency in Sweden, you must document that you have lived or will live in Sweden for at least one year. This can be done, for example, by printing out an extract from the population register (available at Skatteverket), showing a valid residence permit, or providing a rental contract or acceptance letter from a Swedish educational facility alongside a valid study permit.

See the border police’s website for a list of exempted and approved countries (under “Exempted countries and approved countries”).

The above information was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. Please be aware that we are not a government authority and cannot issue any guarantees about whether or not you will be able to travel to Sweden. We always advise readers to also consult the official information on the Swedish border police’s website HERE and HERE before travelling.

If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact our editorial team at [email protected]. We may not be able to reply to every email, and we cannot advise on individual cases, but we read all emails and use them to inform our future coverage.

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TRAVEL NEWS

EXPLAINED: What’s behind the queues at Stockholm Arlanda airport?

Travellers are reporting queues over an hour long at Stockholm's Arlanda airport. What's going on and how long is it expected to last?

EXPLAINED: What's behind the queues at Stockholm Arlanda airport?

What’s the situation at Stockholm Arlanda airport? 

On Friday morning, there were queues lasting over an hour at Arlanda’s security controls. By 10am, they had been reduced to below half an hour, according to the live update the airport operator, Swedavia, maintains on its website here

Swedavia first began warning of long queue times on Monday, saying the queues were the result of a resurgence in travel combined with staffing shortages at Avarn, the contractor responsible for managing the security checks. 

“The wait times are due to a staff shortage with our security services contractor – which is caused by ongoing recruitment and absences due to illness,” the airport said on its website

What are travellers saying? 

Twitter is predictably awash with angry comments from travellers, including some well-known commentators. 

The terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp resorted to capital letters to bemoan the “CATASTROPHE” at the airport. 

The Financial Times’ Nordic Correspondent also compared the situation at Arlanda unfavourably with the smooth controls at Helsinki Airport

“Never seen anything like it and sounds like might be worse today. In Terminal 5 both queues, SAS and Norwegian, were well over 100 metres long,” he told The Local. “It took me 50 minutes to get through security. Don’t think it’s ever taken more than 10 in the Nordics before.” 

What should you do if you are travelling through Stockholm Arlanda at the moment? 

Swedavia recommends that you arrive “well in advance” when taking a flight. You can contact your airline here to find out when their check-ins and baggage drops open.  

Swedavia also recommends that you do everything possible to speed up the check-in process, such as:

  • checking in from home
  • packing hand baggage to make screening faster
  • checking the need for a face covering in advance
  • checking that you have the right travel documents ready 

If you can’t check in from home, Swedavia recommends seeing if you can check in using an automated machine at the airport.

What is the airport doing to to improve the situation? 

On June 15th, the airport is reopening Terminal 4, which might help somewhat, although the airport warns that as staffing is the major problem, having more space will not fully solve the problem over the summer. 

In a press release issued on Friday, Svedavia’s chief operations officer, Peder Grunditz, said opening a new terminal was “an important measure”. 

“We are now going to have the three biggest terminals back in operation for the first time since the pandemic,” he said. 

The company and Avarn are also making “big recruitment efforts” and taking “operational measures” to improve the queue situation, although the “challenging labour market” made that difficult. 

When will waiting times return to normal? 

In his press release, Grunditz conceded that waiting times were not likely to return to normal during the summer, due to the rapid growth in the number of people taking flights. 

“Even though we expect gradual improvements, the queuing situation is going to continue to be challenging during periods over the summer,” he said. 

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