Amid rising rates of COVID-19 cases in the country, Sweden has decided to extend the entry ban for travelers from outside the country for at least another two months.
The Swedish Ministry of Justice announced the decision on Thursday, August 26, according to which only travelers from the Nordic countries, as well as travelers from other EU/EEA countries are exempted from the entry ban. However, the latter cannot enter Sweden for non-essential purposes only if they have:
Have been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative within 72 hours before arriving in Sweden, or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months.
People from the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway – can enter without restrictions and are not subject to any of the three requirements above.
“Travelers from countries outside the EU/EEA can only enter Sweden if they are covered by one of the exemptions to the entry ban and can also submit a negative COVID-19 test result. The extended entry ban is in effect until October 31, 2021, or until further notice,” the ministry notes. As well.
This means that only people who are eligible to enter Sweden from third countries are those who travel for very essential purposes, such as transit passengers, people traveling for the purpose of study, seasonal workers, health care workers, etc.
At the same time, residents of countries included in the EU list of epidemiologically safe third countries are excluded from the entry ban on non-essential travel from third countries: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, Macau, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine or the United States.
“For a foreign national to be exempt from the entry ban, he or she will also be required to provide a certificate showing a negative result for persistent COVID-19 infection from a test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival,” the Department of Justice notes.
She adds that the reason behind the government’s decision to extend the entry ban is the continuing uncertainty regarding COVID-19 infection and the spread of particularly important variants of the virus.
So far, Sweden has recorded a total of 1120,628 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, of which 1,278 were in the past 24 hours, according to WHO data.
Due to the increase in the number of cases in Swedish territory, the country is now colored completely red in the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) maps which are published weekly in support of the council’s recommendation for a coordinated approach to restrict freedom of movement within the bloc amid COVID-19.
As a result, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention is advising the rest of the member states to impose stricter entry restrictions on arrivals from Sweden such as pre-departure COVID-19 testing and quarantine.
Data from ECDC shows that Sweden has managed to vaccinate 66.6 percent of its population of 10.23 million.