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UPDATED: When will Indians be allowed to travel to Sweden again?

India is still one of the countries affected by an entry ban to the EU via Sweden, but there are a few exceptions.

Sweden never closed its borders to EU travellers at any point throughout the coronavirus crisis, and only closed its borders to non-EU tourists after the European Commission urged member states to do so.

The entry ban to the EU via Sweden has been in place since March 19th, with a number of exceptions.

The EU has now said it will reopen its external borders on July 1st to visitors from 15 "safe countries" – but India is not on the list. So what's the situation for people who want to travel to Sweden from India?

European travel ban

From July 4th, people who live in the following countries will be allowed to travel freely to Sweden: Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. As you can see, that list excludes for example the US, Russia and India.

Sweden has extended the entry ban for other non-EU/EEA visitors, including those travelling from the India, until August 31st – unless you belong to a number of categories exempt from the ban (see below).

It is possible that non-essential travel from India to European countries may be allowed later this summer, as the EU "safe countries" list will be reviewed on an EU level every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest coronavirus spread in each country. Each country is allowed to impose its own border restrictions, so the EU recommendations are not binding; however, Sweden generally falls in line behind them.

The EU criteria to decide which third countries to open up to depends on the coronavirus situation in that country, primarily the following criteria,

  • number of new Covid-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on June 15th, 2020)

  • stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days

  • overall response to Covid-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account

Who can travel from India to Sweden?

These are some of the exceptions to the entry ban, for example:

  • Individuals with a residence permit in Sweden or another EEA state, and their family members

  • Holders of a national visa for Sweden

  • People travelling for urgent family reasons

  • People travelling to Sweden for the purposes of studying

  • People travelling to work in essential functions in Sweden such as health care professionals, the transportation of goods such as food and medicines, and seasonal workers employed in agriculture, forestry and horticulture.

Note that as of July 4th, residence/student permit holders no longer need to already be residing in Sweden in order to enter – having a permit is enough, even if you are moving to Sweden for the first time.

Whether or not other people will be able to travel to Sweden eventually will also depend on India's own travel advice and the availability of international flights.

What happens when I arrive in Sweden?

Sweden does not require travellers from any country to spend time in quarantine, you do not need to show a document stating that you have tested negative for the coronavirus, and there are no rules stating that you need to wear a face mask in public (you may however do so if you want).

However, there are several guidelines to be aware of, such as observing social distancing, staying at home if you have symptoms, and avoiding public transport if you are travelling through Sweden. There is a ban in place on public gatherings of more than 50 people, so many events and venues may allow pre-booking only.

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Originally published: https://www.thelocal.se

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