Sweden is preparing to lift its ban on non-essential travelers coming from so-called “third countries”, which refers to those outside of the European Union (E.U.), on April 1. The decision was announced by the Swedish Ministry of Justice this past Friday.
In early February, Sweden joined Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Denmark in dropping COVID-19 restrictions for travelers originating within the E.U., the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland (which is neither an E.U. nor an EEA member, but is part of the European Single Market), granting them entry regardless of vaccination status.
Also on February 9, Sweden lifted nearly all of its pandemic-related domestic social restrictions, including face mask mandates and a requirement to present vaccination certificates when entering indoor public establishments, like bars and restaurants. Cultural and entertainment attractions, such as museums, theatres and amusement parks, were all allowed to resume operations at full capacity.
In a few days, the Nordic nation will drop all travel restrictions and entry requirements for inbound foreign travelers coming from anywhere in the world, regardless of their vaccination status. Come April, Sweden’s borders will essentially return to a pre-pandemic level of openness.
“We have already lifted the entry ban within the E.U. Now, the government has decided not to extend the entry ban from third countries. This will make it much easier for everyone who has been prevented from coming to Sweden in recent years due to the pandemic,” said Morgan Johansson, Sweden’s minister for justice and home affairs, according to Lonely Planet.
Until the ban expires after March 31, American travelers (and everyone else from outside the E.U., EEA or Switzerland) will still need to meet entry requirements, supplying a valid vaccination or recovery certificate, plus a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Sweden, in order to visit.
Neighboring nations Denmark and Norway have also removed all restrictions on travelers hailing from both inside and outside the E.U. Norway eliminated all vaccination, testing and registration requirements on February 12, while Denmark lifted its last remaining entry requirements on March 29.
Meanwhile, Finland has done away with requirements internally within the E.U. and Schengen area, but still requires non-E.U. travelers to provide proof of full vaccination, or a single vaccine dose in conjunction with a recovery certificate, both of which are considered valid for nine months (270 days) from the date of the last injection. If their primary vaccination is more than nine months old, proof of a booster shot is required.
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For more information, visit visitsweden.com.