Are you in Sweden? Or were you planning to travel to Sweden any time soon? What about the corona virus (officially Covid -19) in Sweden? Are you still allowed to travel to Sweden now that the world is fighting the corona virus? I try to list the current advice below.
Click here for the official website of the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
What is the impact of the corona virus in Sweden?
On March 10th, the Swedish health organization has put the level of risk for contamination to ‘very high’. As of April 20, there were almost 15.000 corona-infected individuals across all Swedish regions. These numbers are far from correct, since they are no longer testing everyone. Those who have symptoms should avoid contact with others until they are symptom-free for at least 2 days. On April 20, there total number of fatalities in Sweden raised to 1580.
Recent numbers can be found here (in Swedish)
- All public events with more than 50 people have been canceled. There is no end date for the time being.
- Hospitals and care institutions ask to refrain from non-essential visits.
- The government itself gave the schools the authority to decide upon lessons and childcare. High schools & university are closed. Children younger than 16 are still going to school.
- Many flights have been canceled. Contact your airline to find out if your flight has been affected.
- Public transport maintains the regular timetable.
- As of March 16 Stockholmers are urged to work from home.
- As of April 1, people in Sweden are asked to keep a social distance.
In Sweden, the emergency number 1177 applies to those who show symptoms or are concerned that they may be infected.
What is the impact of the corona virus on travels to and from Sweden?
Sweden announced that it will close the borders for all unnecessary trips, starting from 3/19 and this for at least 30 days. Check the website of the department for Foreign Affairs from your own country. (Belgium advised against all travels abroad).
If you are in Sweden now, it is best to check whether your travel insurance covers medical assistance, repatriation and possible costs for (preventive) quarantine – even if you are not tested – on the spot.
Personally I would cancel or postpone unnecessary trips at the moment. We ourselves have an important responsibility to help control the further spread of this virus!
Do you really have to travel to Sweden for some reason? Then check that your travel insurance covers a cancellation in the event of an epidemic or pandemic such as the coronavirus.
Some museums are open as usual, but limit the number of visitors. Any events are canceled or postponed.
I list the links below to Stockholm’s main museums. Most are closed until further notice (last updated: April 20)
Although the restaurants for now may officially remain open, a few businesses closed on their own initiative. Restaurants that serve a buffet are looking for alternatives.
You can also see similar situations in other Swedish cities such as Gothenburg and Malmö. In Umeå, Guitars – The Museum decided to close for the time being.
As an outsider you’re maybe jealous of the Swedes who sit on outdoor cafes during these times? Or maybe you don’t understand why they still come together? In Sweden they chose the strategy of group immunity. The government gives a lot of responsibility to the population and the Swedes usually take this responsibility. They adapt fairly well to the social distancing rules. Sweden has many one-person households and they are appreciate their ‘personal space’. In addition, the country is many times more extensive than the Benelux and Sweden (except for the big cities) with its 10 million inhabitants is less populated. Whether their strategy is the right one remains to be seen. Virologists have already criticized the approach of the government.
Corona virus in the other Scandinavian countries
- Denmark closes its borders from Saturday March 14 at noon until May 10. Unless you live or work in Denmark, you will not get in. The travel advice from the Danish government for all trips has been adjusted to a negative for unnecessary trips. So whoever thought to travel to Sweden by car, train or bus, cannot do this via Denmark.
- Norway closed its borders for people coming from high-risk countries. With retroactive effect, anyone who returned from abroad (including non-risk countries) since February 27 must remain in quarantine for 14 days. Those who show symptoms should be quarantined for at least 7 days after the symptoms disappear. The Norwegian royal couple also had to be quarantined after a trip abroad. Many hotels, restaurants and museums are also closed there.
- Finland canceled events with more than 500 attendees until May 31. Those who display (minor) symptoms are asked to stay at home to avoid any spread.
- Transiting country Germany is also facing a tough battle against the corona virus. The country is in a lockdown light until May 3.
General advice in the fight against corona
- Cancel all unnecessary trips. Even if you have no symptoms. Travelers can spread the virus faster. Take your responsibility and stay at home.
- Wash your hands. During at least 20 seconds and as often as possible. If you use your hand gel, make sure that it contains at least 70% alcohol.
- Touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose, …) as little as possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands carefully afterwards.
- Avoid contact with other persons as much as possible to limit further spread.
The tourism industry has been severely affected by the corona virus. It is currently still a question of how long the current measures will be needed. Fortunately, you can still dream of traveling and doing research for future trips. Do you have some extra free time in the coming weeks? Then maybe you can work on learning some Swedish or trying some Swedish recipes?
Disclaimer: always check the latest advice at official sources. I do my best to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you have any additions, please send me an email!
Last update of this page: April 20, 2020.