Visiting Sweden during the covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic affects travelling, accommodation, and other activities in Sweden. Here we have compiled information from the authorities about restrictions and regulations you need to be aware of if you are planning a stay in Sweden this summer.

Travelling to Sweden

The Swedish Government has decided to suspend non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU. This ban will apply until August 31. This ban has been introduced to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The entry ban does not apply to citizens of EU/EEA countries, UK, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, or their families, or for travels to Sweden from the EU/EEA area. Furthermore, the ban does not apply if you or a close relative already live here as a permanent resident or hold a residence permit in Sweden or another EU country, or if you have a national visa to Sweden. More information can be found in frequently asked questions answered by the Swedish Police Authority.

Entry requirements

There is no quarantine requirement for travellers to Sweden. Swedavia Airports recommends that you use face masks at their airports. Airline operators may require passengers to show a health statement but this is no general requirement for entering Sweden.

Please pay close attention to the information given by your airline  many airline companies require you to wear a face mask on board. You do not need a health statement or health certificate in order to enter Sweden. 

There is no general requirement to wear a face mask in normal social situations, in public places, in public transport etc.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden ("Folkhälsomyndigheten") recommends that:

  • those who are feeling unwell stay at home
  • stay at least an arm's length away from other people
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Protect yourself and others from spread of infection

Testing and travel certificates

Other countries require a certificate proving that you do not have Covid-19 before entering.

In Sweden, anyone with symptoms can get a PCR test which will determine if there is an active Covid-19 infection. If you are interested in doing a PCR test, contact phone number 1177.  

An antibody (or a serological) test can show whether you have previously had Covid-19 and developed antibodies against the virus, and thus have protection against the disease. Some companies in Sweden offer foreign citizens such antibody tests (information in Swedish) at a cost, some of which can provide travel certificates. Also check information provided by your embassy.

Travelling in Sweden

Those without symptoms can travel in Sweden. It is important for everyone to maintain distance from other people, both while travelling and at the destination. Before your journey, check with the municipality (”kommunen”) you intend to visit if there are any local restrictions.

Public transportation is operating but services may be limited, both as regards the number of passengers allowed and frequency of departures. For information about services or routes, visit the relevant website or contact the operator on the phone for information in English. If you become ill, you need to be able to make your way home without putting others at risk of infection. Remember to maintain distance from others and avoid places where many people gather.

Minimising the spread of Covid-19

Stay at home if you are feeling ill with symptoms such as nasal congestion, respiratory infection, coughing, or fever, even with mild symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with people who are unwell.
  • Those aged over 70 are advised to limit contact with other people as far as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with hot water and soap.
  • Avoid touching your face and eyes. The infection is spread via mucous membranes in your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid going to parties and other social events.
  • Keep your distance from other people in public places.
  • Avoid travelling in rush hour traffic.
  • Avoid unnecessary journeys.

Ban on public gatherings of 50 people or more

Public gatherings and events may have a maximum of 50 participants. The police can cancel or disband a public gathering or event with more than 50 participants. 

Swedish Healthcare

If you are on a visit in Sweden and become ill or get injured, call 1177 for information about illnesses and about Swedish healthcare. In case of emergency, call 112 for an ambulance.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be reductions in healthcare services because of the handling of Covid-19. Do not visit a health centre (“vårdcentral”) if you have any symptoms associated with Covid-19. Instead call 1177 where you will get medical advice from a registered nurse.

Accommodation

Campsites

Campsites are not included in the ban on public gatherings exceeding 50 people. However, events on and in connection with campsites may be affected.

Due to the risk of contagion, the Swedish Tourist Association ("STF") has introduced restrictions concerning how many people may spend the night in the Association's mountain cabins. Hikers will have to book a space in the cabins and pay in advance.

Private cabins may also have introduced similar rules. If you have considered hiking this summer, we recommend that you investigate this before leaving.

Hotels and private accommodation

General advice and recommendations regarding minimising the spread of infection apply.

Activities

Restaurants and cafés

Restaurants, cafés, and bars as well as other venues serving food and drink must:

  • Take measures to avoid crowding of people in queues, at tables, buffets or bar counters.
  • Ensure that guests can keep at least one meter's distance from other people.
  • Only serve food and drink to guests who are seated at a table or a bar counter.
  • Guests are permitted to order and pick up food and drink, provided that this does not lead to crowding or queues.
  • Offer guests the opportunity to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or offer them hand sanitiser.
  • Inform guests about how they can decrease the risk for spreading infection.

Hotels, hostels and campsites

Hotels, hostels and campsites should ensure that personnel and guests are familiar with and follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten).

Visitor-related businesses should be able to offer alternative solutions to queues, for instance, when checking in (e.g. showing the distance guests can maintain between each other). Personnel and visitors should also have the opportunity to cleanse their hands, both with soap and water and hand sanitiser.

If the business has a restaurant, bar or café, it is subject to the Public Health Agency’s overcrowding rules for, among other things, restaurants and pubs.

Any events may be affected by the ban on public gatherings and events.

You can find information intended for camping businesses and their guests on the website of the sectoral organisation, SCR Svensk Camping.

Tips for business owners 

Are you planning on running a summer cafe or jumble sale this summer? Or maybe you own a store that attracts vacationing  customers? The pandemic places special demands on those who run a business that is open to the public. Customers must be able to respect social-distancing as well as to wash their hands. By means of signs and pavement decals for example, you can remind them about the need to avoid the spread of infection. MSB.se offers good examples of measures that businesses have taken to curb the spread of infection(In swedish). There are also checklists, posters and other material that can be downloaded, printed and used free of charge.

Allemansrätten – Your rights and obligations in nature

Allemansrätten ("the Right of Public Access") means that you are permitted to move freely in nature without asking the land owner's permission. However, there are certain things you must consider while you are out in nature.

When many people venture out into nature at the same time, it is important that everyone is respectful of the nature, animal life, land owners, and other people.

In nature reserves and national parks, there are special provisions in place to protect the nature.  The applicable rules are available to read on the area's notice boards, or on the municipality’s and county administration's websites.

Swimming areas

Swimming areas are not included in the ban on public gatherings exceeding 50 people.

Advice on visiting beaches and pools

  • Stay at home if you are ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if it is not possible to wash your hands.
  • Avoid crowded beaches and pools.
  • Keep a safe distance of two metres between yourself and others on the beach/by the pool and in the water.
  • Familiarise yourself with the information on the beach’s/pool’s information board and follow the recommendations for a safer beach visit.

Amusement parks, zoos, and water parks

Due to the ban on public gatherings exceeding more than 50 people, many amusement parks must stay closed this summer. However, certain parks, such as zoos, have remained open with special restrictions and limitations in place. These may entail that only a limited number of visitors are allowed in, that tickets must be pre-booked, or that parts of the park remain closed.

Please make sure that you are aware of these restrictions and limitations before visiting an amusement park.

Shops and stores

Most shops and stores are open. These may have reduced opening hours and limits to the number of customers allowed. Make sure to maintain a safe distance from other people.

Museums and theatres

Many museums and theatres are closed but open-air alternatives may be open (check opening hours before visiting).

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