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TRAVEL NEWS

Sweden implements new Covid-19 test rules for travel from Denmark

Sweden’s new travel restrictions came into force on Tuesday, potentially affecting a large number of travellers from neighbouring Denmark.

Queues on the Øresund Bridge on December 27th. Many travellers from Denmark are now required to present a negative Covid-19 test at the Swedish border.
Queues on the Øresund Bridge on December 27th. Many travellers from Denmark are now required to present a negative Covid-19 test at the Swedish border. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT/Ritzau Scanpix

As of December 28th, many foreign travellers need to show a negative Covid test to be allowed to enter Sweden, regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated and regardless of which country they’re travelling from – non-EU, EU or any of the Nordic countries.

The test must have been carried out 48 hours before arriving in Sweden and the original test result document must be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English or French.

Swedish citizens and foreign residents who can prove they live in Sweden are still among the categories of travellers who are exempt from showing a negative test.

People travelling from the EU, including Nordic countries Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, need to show a negative test, regardless of vaccination status.

People who frequently commute across the Swedish border for work or studies can choose to either show a negative test no older than a week, or a valid vaccine pass.

A separate recommendation to get tested after arriving in Sweden still applies, regardless of whether or not a test result was shown on the border. Border commuters are exempt from the recommendation to get tested every time after arriving in Sweden. Instead, they should get tested once a week if they used the vaccine pass to enter. If they instead show a negative test to enter every week, they don’t have to take additional tests.

Sweden’s Public Health Agency has issued guidance on what kind of test will be accepted.

The test can be either an antigen test or a PCR test and must have been carried out 48 hours before arriving in Sweden – not 48 hours after you get the result, and not 48 hours after departure, so make sure you plan your trip carefully, especially if it’s long-distance.

The test certificate must also include the following information, and be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English or French:

  • Name and date of birth
  • The date and time for the test
  • The kind of infection you were tested for (i.e. Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 or a variant)
  • What kind of test was used (i.e. antigen, PCR, TMA or LAMP)
  • Information that the test was negative
  • The name and address of the laboratory that carried out or issued the test

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about travelling to, from and within Sweden

The requirement to show a negative test applies to those over the age of 12 and regardless of where in the world you are travelling from, and whether or not you are vaccinated. If you belong to a category of traveller which has to present a negative test and you don’t do so, or if your flight is delayed so that you arrive in Sweden later than 48 hours after it was carried out, border police may refuse entry.

However, previous exemptions from showing a Covid test generally still apply. That means, among other things, that Swedish citizens and foreign residents who can prove they live in Sweden have the right to enter without showing a negative test.

A full list of exemptions can be found on the Swedish Police Authority’s website

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COVID-19 RULES

Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed. 

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