Sweden has reimposed entry restrictions for travelers from the US and five other countries, but will consider more lenient rules for vaccinated people.
The Swedish government today formally extended Sweden’s non-EU/EEA entry ban until October 31st, as The Local reported last week.
There are several exceptions to the ban including those traveling for specific reasons, as well as from certain countries, but on Thursday six countries were removed from the exempt list of “safe countries”: based on a rise in Covid-19 infections in those countries, from September 6th the entry ban will also apply to countries Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia, the United States, and Israel.
Israel is particularly notable, because while it has long been one of the most vaccinated countries in the world and boasts the highest percentage of population having received a third "booster" shot, at 25%, it is also the country where new latest wave of covid infections has just hit new all time highs.
That doesn’t necessarily mean all travel from those countries will be banned, as travelers may fall into another exempted category, such as traveling for urgent family reasons or if they have EU citizenship or a Swedish residence permit. The decision to reimpose restrictions on these six countries came from an EU recommendation.
Sweden currently makes no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers when it comes to travel from outside the European Union, but the government hinted that further exemptions for vaccinated travellers “resident in certain third countries” may be on the way.
“There are a number of countries with which Sweden has close relations. There, the government will now investigate the possibility of exempting fully vaccinated residents in certain third countries,” Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told the TT news agency on Thursday.
“I am thinking primarily of the United Kingdom, but also the United States, even though the United States is more complex and many states have very different rules.”
Neither he nor the government’s statement on Thursday gave any indication as to when such exemptions may be introduced.