Sweden has reopened to U.S. travelers as of June 30th, presenting American tourists with another European destination to visit this summer.
The country had banned all non-essential travel from outside EU/EEA nations since March 2020. After February 2021, the ban included a requirement of presenting a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. If you want to travel to Sweden, you need to be covered by one of the entry ban exemptions and prove that your travel is essential and not leisure.
These rules will apply to most countries outside the EU until August 31st, 2021. However, the U.S is now exempt from this.
The Entry Requirements
The Swedish government announced that U.S based travelers, including travelers from Serbia, Taiwan, North Macedonia, Macao, Lebanon, Hong Kong, and Albania would be allowed to enter the country from June 30th.
Furthermore, Sweden has permitted travelers from other Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway to enter the country. Travelers from other EU countries will have to present evidence of full vaccination or evidence of successful recovery after contracting COVID-19.
U.S. citizens can enter Sweden by producing one of the following:
- A vaccination certificate
- A negative test certificate
- Documented evidence of recovery from COVID-19
However, anyone who meets the following criteria doesn’t have to produce a certificate:
- People under the age of 18
- Any people who live in Sweden
- People with very imperative family reasons
- Those who are traveling on humanitarian grounds
Therefore, it’s easier for U.S. citizens to currently enter Sweden than it is for many European citizens. EU citizens must have evidence of vaccination, whereas U.S. citizens have various options.
The COVID-19 Situation In Sweden
Sweden became famous around the world for its initial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the country closed its borders early on, it didn’t enforce a lockdown and decided to pursue as some have categorized it, herd immunity instead of strict lockdown policies.
The country has reported over 1 million cases of COVID-19, with 14,592 deaths and over 1 million recoveries since the pandemic began. Although cases started to rise at the start of 2021, cases have since flatlined. There are currently around 14,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, which is down from around 170,000 active cases in April 2021.
Sweden is now averaging around 500 cases of COVID-19 per day, which is a drop of around 90% in recent months. That makes it a relatively covid-free country at the moment, and one of the best options in Europe.
Although Europe has reopened to American tourists this summer, the Delta variant is starting to grip the continent and cast doubt upon travel. Portugal has just reintroduced a curfew at night time, and other EU nations are considering banning citizens from countries with high rates of the Delta variant (including the U.K.)
Despite Sweden’s low COVID-19 cases and high vaccination levels, the CDC still recommends not visiting Sweden.
The Current Restrictions In Sweden
Sweden was the pandemic outlier in 2020, refusing to lockdown and implement social distancing laws. However, the nation has begun to implement some restrictions on citizens and travelers within the country in the past 12 months.
These include the following restrictions from July 1st:
- Eight people per table at restaurants
- A maximum of 50 people at private parties
- The nation has opened markets and amusement parks, but the business sets its own restrictions
- The country only recommends wearing face masks on public transport, but it’s not a legal mandate
From September onwards, Sweden will look to remove all COVID-19 restrictions and get back to complete normality. Although the country still has minor restrictions, these restrictions are far weaker than the rest of the western world.
Does Sweden tempt you this year?
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com