The two European travel destinations of Sweden and Switzerland have both removed their pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirements for international travelers. In doing so, the two travel hot spots are joining a rapidly growing list of other EU and Schengen destinations that have recently toned down their entry restrictions and requirements in a bid to facilitate travel to, from and around the continent once more, in spite of Covid-19 cases remaining high throughout the continent.
However, both countries have taken a different approach to removing the testing requirement. Whilst Sweden has removed their pre-departure testing requirement for all travelers, Switzerland’s will only apply for travelers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Here’s a closer look at the full details of the easing of restrictions for both Sweden and Switzerland, plus a look at what the Covid-19 situation is like in these countries.
Sweden Removes Testing Requirement – Information For Travelers
Up until very recently, the list of official requirements needed to enter Sweden stated that travelers had to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their arrival into the country. This week however, Sweden made the decision to allow all travelers to be able to enter the country without having to submit to a pre-departure test – regardless of a traveler’s vaccination status or their country of origin – making travel to the country easier, cheaper and much more appealing for travelers.
In a press release, the Swedish Ministry of Justice said:
“Travellers are no longer considered to represent a particular risk that would affect the spread of the Omicron variant in Sweden. For this reason, the specific requirement for a negative Covid-19 result from a test conducted within 48 hours of arrival to Sweden is no longer considered to be a proportional measure, according to a request from the Public Health Agency of Sweden.”
In the case of arrivals from entering Sweden from the EU or European Economic Area, travelers must still present the EU Digital COVID Certificate upon entry. Those coming from other parts of the world can still enter with their vaccination passes, providing they are recognized by Sweden. Sweden is currently reporting a daily average of around 32,000 Covid-19 cases, and carries a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory from the US.
Switzerland Removes Testing Requirement – What Travelers Should Know
Switzerland has also been active this week, removing its pre-travel testing requirement – but only for travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from the virus within the last 270 days. The relaxation of restrictions came into effect on January 22nd, and is bound to send travelers heading for the slopes, chalets and picturesque vistas of the Alps in greater numbers once more.
However, it’s not all bad news for unvaccinated travelers planning to visit Switzerland. Whilst they will still need to take a Covid-19 test no more than 72-hours prior to entry, Switzerland has abolished the need to take a follow-up test between the fourth and seventh days after arrival, which will help to make visiting Switzerland a more appealing proposition than it was at the turn of the new year.
Switzerland has recently experienced a dramatic spike in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, reporting a daily average of just over 30,000. The spike has resulted in the country extending its public transport and indoor mask wearing policy until March, with those refusing to comply at the risk of being fined. The country is set to review its Covid-19 measures once more next month.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories