Sweden travel: Will country stay on UK's quarantine-free travel list and what rules are in place?

Joanna Whitehead
·3-min read
Sweden has just been added to the UK government's travel corridors list (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Sweden has just been added to the UK government's travel corridors list (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

From the stylish cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, to the natural beauty of its archipelagos, Northern Lights and clean air, Sweden has long been a dream destination representing social and environmental progress.

But with quarantine measures across Europe changing quicker than the British weather, are we still allowed to go? And, what will happen when we return?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Am I allowed to travel to Sweden from the UK?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued a blanket warning against all non-essential international travel in March, but this has now been lifted for more than 80 destinations.

After recording its highest death tally in 150 years during the first six months of 2020, the lockdown-free Scandinavian country saw new coronavirus infections drop significantly by July.

After reporting no new cases on September 6 and 7, infection rates jumped again to 573 on September 8. Despite this, its seven-day case rate has dropped to 11.6 per 100,000 people in recent weeks.

As a result, the UK government announced on Thursday that quarantine measures would be dropped for all British travellers returning from the country from 4am on 12 September and that Sweden would be added to the UK’s “safe” list.

The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs currently advises Swedish citizens against non-essential travel to the UK until 23 September 2020.

How can I get there?

There are a limited number of direct flights between the UK and Sweden – airlines have reduced the number of international flights to and from Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Carriers flying direct to the country include British Airways, Ryanair, Finnair and Scandinavian Airlines.

Will they let me in when I arrive?

Yes. Like other EU countries, Sweden has banned entry to non-EU and non-EEA citizens arriving from outside the EU, but British nationals are not affected by this ban.

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive?

There are no quarantine restrictions for British travellers arriving in Sweden at present.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus whilst in the country, Sweden’s Public Health Agency recommends calling the national health hotline on + 46 771 1177.

There may be a reduction in healthcare services throughout the country as a result of the pandemic. Do not visit a health centre (“vårdcentral”) if you have any symptoms associated with Covid-19.

Will I have to quarantine when I come home?

Not from 12 September. Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced on 10 September that quarantine measures for travellers returning from Sweden would be lifted from 4am on 12 September.

Can I travel within Sweden?

Yes. Domestic travel is permitted throughout the country.

Are hotels open?

Accommodation remains open throughout Sweden, with enhanced cleaning procedures in place. Stockholm’s Grand Hotel is opening for bookings, as is the country’s famous Ice Hotel.

Are restaurants, shops and attractions open?

Most shops, restaurants and stores are open, although some may operate with reduced hours and limitations on the number of customers allowed. Many museums are open, including Stockholm’s Fotografiska, ABBA The Museum and Gothenburg’s Museum of Art. Cinemas are open, with many remaining open at the height of the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

What rules are in place?

There is no requirement to wear a face mask in public, although the Public Health Agency of Sweden asks people to maintain physical distance from others and asks those feeling unwell to stay at home.

Public gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, as well as visits to elderly care homes. People aged 70 and over are also advised to stay close to home to minimise contact with other people as much as possible.

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