Sweden has scrapped the requirement to present a negative COVID-19 report before entering the country. The government has tightened restrictions within the borders instead and travellers still need to carry proof of vaccination with them. By Eshita Srinivas
The Swedish government has stated that, from January 21, travellers will no longer have to present a negative RT-PCR test report for access to the country. The test requirement was only introduced four weeks ago to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. Now travellers need to adhere to COVID-19 appropriate safety measures and present proof of two doses of vaccination.
Sweden’s health agency no longer considers travellers a risk factor for the spread of Omicron
Despite the testing requirement in place, Sweden witnessed a rapid rise in infections across the country, with new records being set every day. As Omicron dominates, the Swedish Public Health Department stated that testing rules were no longer a proportional measure. As per a report by Newsweek, the Swedish Ministry of Justice released a statement saying, “Travellers are no longer considered to represent a particular risk that would affect the spread of the Omicron variant in Sweden.”
Instead, Sweden has laid down more stringent rules within the border. All licensed premises are required to shut by 11 pm, only allowing seated service to small groups to maintain social distancing. Vaccine proofs are still needed for events that have more than 50 participants. Every individual has been asked to limit the number of close contacts by refraining from large dinner parties and social gatherings.
In addition to this, those who don’t hold Swedish citizenship will need to show proof of full vaccination (two doses) or a note of recovery from an infection within the last six months. This needs to be done through the EU Digital Covid Certificate or a compatible system, as per a report by Forbes.
The latest update comes as a relief to holidaymakers who’d set sights on the Scandinavian country as well as bordering countries of Norway and Finland that had suffered due to the halt in cross-border trade.
Meanwhile, Sweden has recorded over 20,000 daily cases every day over the past few days, which is roughly double the amount from the records set during earlier waves. The government has noted that although there is a strain on healthcare services, it isn’t as much as it was before the vaccine rollout, as per a report by Reuters.