Covid-19 Test Requirement Scrapped As Omicron Dominates

From January 21, Sweden will no longer require travelers to present a negative Covid-19 test result to gain entry at the border. However, most travelers will now have to show a digital certificate proving full vaccination, while travel from some countries remains banned.

The news is sure to be greeted with delight in bordering countries Norway and Finland, as cross-border trade had more or less ground to a halt in the preceding weeks.

Omicron now dominates in Sweden

Introduced less than four weeks ago, the requirement for a negative test result was intended to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. However, following weeks of increasing infections, Omicron now dominates in Sweden.

The Swedish Public Health Agency no longer considers travelers a major risk for the spread of Omicron and recommended the removal of the testing requirement as it was no longer a proportional measure, according to a government statement.

Instead, Sweden has elected to crack down within its borders, introducing a series of national restrictions. From January 14, all licensed premises must close by 11pm, with seated service only to small groups. There are additional restrictions on public gatherings and events.

To date, a total of 15,558 people have died from Covid-19 in Sweden. There are 110 patients in intensive care, up 12 on one week ago.

Sweden entry rules from January 21

Although the test requirement has been removed, many other entry rules remain in place. The rules have essentially reverted to those that applied prior to December 28, when the testing requirement was introduced.

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From January 21, all adults that do not hold citizenship or residence in Sweden will have to show proof of full vaccination (two doses), recovery from an infection within the last six months, or a negative test result taken in the last 72 hours. This must be done via the EU Digital Covid Certificate or one of the compatible systems.

Sweden’s entry ban on non-essential travel from outside the EU/EEA remains in place. That means people traveling from outside Europe must meet one of the exemptions to the ban to gain entry.

Exemptions include urgent family reasons and travelers from an approved country list, which is regularly updated. Note that most people holding an exemption from the ban must still present a digital vaccination certificate.

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