Your questions answered (for Swedish and Non-Swedish citizens)
All Swedes who are abroad should review their own situation and their options for travelling back to Sweden. The MFA and the embassies are providing advice on how individuals can best resolve their situation. There are delays, and many travelers may be forced to remain abroad until flights begin to operate again. Travel agencies and airlines have a responsibility to try to bring home everyone who is affected.
📍 Will the MFA evacuate Swedish travelers?
The MFA urges individuals to contact their travel agency, airline or insurance company to arrange their return journey. We appreciate that the situation is difficult, but travelers will need to adapt to the current situation and accept uncertainty and delays. In certain exceptional circumstances, assisted departure may be conducted. For example, a country’s authorities may decide that all foreign citizens must leave the country. The MFA is trying to assist through dialogue with the airlines on the possibility of bringing travelers home and with local authorities regarding restrictions on travel within a country or departure orders. In the event that the MFA helps with assisted departure, there will also be a cost to the individual for such a trip. This is why the MFA and the embassies are working to help travelers see if there are other options available to them. In the event of assisted departure, the MFA in close dialogue with airlines can help to ensure that certain specific routes, or individual extra flights, continue to operate. In this way, airlines can offer more flight tickets on commercial terms than would have been possible otherwise.
📍 What practical help are the MFA and Swedish embassies offering stranded Swedish travelers?
(see above answer too) If there are strict travel restrictions within a country, the Embassy – often together with other EU and Nordic countries – conducts a dialogue with the country’s authorities to make things easier for travelers. If an individual requires help in resolving a financial situation, the MFA and embassies assist in identifying possibilities for the individual to resolve the situation themselves, for example through their own funds or through a relative. If it is difficult for an individual to access their own funds, it is possible for the MFA to assist with a bank transfer or by enabling relatives to deposit funds via the MFA. It is also possible to apply for a loan, but only if all other possibilities have been exhausted. Such a loan must be repaid. If you are travelling abroad, follow the local news reports for up-to-date information on the situation. Individual countries have different rules and regulations that can rapidly change and it is important to follow these. Also follow the embassies’ travel information, which is updated continuously. Travelers may be forced to remain abroad until flights begin to operate again. Travel agencies and airlines are trying to bring everyone who is affected back to Sweden. Trying to handle situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a shared responsibility. The travel industry, insurance companies, the Swedish Foreign Service and the individual must also play their part. In many ways, the situation is exceptional with regard to the possibility of travelling between and within countries.
📍 Some of the Nordic countries have brought their travelers back. How is Sweden working with its Nordic neighbors?
We are in close dialogue with our Nordic neighbors on many issues and at several levels. The focus in terms of managing COVID-19 is on how we can coordinate and cooperate on consular issues and information exchange. This dialogue also concerns the possibility of assisted departures.
📍 How does transit work in different countries?
Some countries are introducing restrictions on transiting through their territories. These decisions can be announced at short notice. It is therefore important that Swedes abroad carefully follow the closest Swedish embassy’s travel information. The embassies also actively spread information via push notifications in the UD Resklar app.
📍 Transit within the Nordic region
People who are resident in Sweden must be allowed to board flights to Kastrup and the rest of the Nordic region for subsequent direct onward travel to Sweden. Travelers may be required to produce evidence of this, for example, a ticket for the onward leg of their journey to Sweden or for their car parked at the airport. There is a Nordic agreement that allows ‘transiting to’ Sweden, even if the borders are closed, and remaining in the other countries is not permitted.
📍 What does the temporary ban on travel to Sweden due to COVID-19 mean? Will I be unable to enter Sweden?
The Swedish Police Authority is responsible for the application of this decision and questions are referred to them in the first instance.
The Swedish Government decided to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the spread of the virus. The entry ban has been in effect since 19 March and is prolongued several times now until October 31st, 2020. The entry ban does not affect travel from another EU country to Sweden.
Read about who the entry ban applies to on the Ministry of Justice pages of the Government’s website: https://www.government.se/articles/2020/04/faqs--entry-to-the-eu-via-sweden-banned/
Allowed to enter Sweden/exemptions from the entry ban (NB: see the link above for complete information, the following is not an exhaustive list.)
📍 What is the difference between advice against non-essential travel and all travel?
‘Non-essential travel’ refers to visits and tourism. All travel also includes business and official travel.
📍 Why is the MFA not advising against all travel?
Some travel may still be necessary, for family reasons or because it concerns business or official travel that is important to society.
📍 What would cause the MFA to tighten the advice against travel?
We are following developments carefully and are prepared to take new decisions when necessary.
📍 How many Swedes are currently abroad?
It is not possible to estimate the number of Swedes abroad at present.
📍 I have been placed in quarantine/self-isolation abroad. What applies? Do I have to obey the quarantine rule or can I leave?
The MFA cannot interfere in the laws and regulations of another country. Disease control laws vary from country to country. The MFA always urges Swedes abroad to comply with the country’s local laws and regulations.
📍 I am in quarantine/self-isolation abroad, but do not have money for food, accommodation and other costs. What can the MFA do to help me?
If you have valid travel insurance, you should first contact your insurance company to find out what you are covered for. Different insurance companies may have different rules. If you do not have any insurance, you can check with family and friends to see if they can transfer money.
📍 I have been placed in quarantine/isolation in a hotel abroad and now the hotel says that I have to start paying for the food. I have no money. Can the MFA or Embassy pay for the food? If not, where should I turn?
It is primarily the authority in the country that took the decision on quarantine that is responsible for the people placed in quarantine. If you have travelled with a travel operator and have been placed in quarantine in one of the operator’s hotels, you should contact your travel operator.
📍 I have been placed in quarantine/self-isolation abroad and my essential medicines have run out or are about to run out. Who should I contact to receive my medicines?
Contact your insurance company or the local health provider or the authority that is responsible for the quarantine decision.
📍 I have been placed in quarantine/isolation abroad and my medicines have run out and equivalent medicines are not available in the country. Can the MFA help me to receive medicines from Sweden?
No. Contact your insurance company or the authority or relevant medical facility that is responsible for the quarantine decision.
A. am in a hotel or on board a boat: Follow the instructions of the relevant authority. Contact you insurance company/travel agency.
B. need medical care/medicines: Contact you insurance company. Contact the health care system in the country in question.
C. want to go home:Contact the insurance company/travel company. Follow the instructions of the local authorities.
Refer to: Hallå konsument (Hello consumer) information service: Has information on your rights in connection with the cancellation of trips because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on consumer issues that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Press release on the temporary ban on travel to Sweden: https://www.government.se/press-releases/2020/08/extension-of-temporary-entry-ban-to-sweden-until-31-october-2020/
Questions and answers about the entry ban to Sweden: https://www.government.se/articles/2020/04/faqs--entry-to-the-eu-via-sweden-banned/
Swedish Police: Questions from the public about the practical application of the ban on travel to Sweden are answered by the Police. Telephone 11414 (from outside Sweden +46 77 114 14 00) and ask to be connected to the National Communications Department.
Information about how travel to and from Sweden is affected: https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/travel-to-and-from-sweden/
Information about the coronavirus and the Swedish Police: https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/
Public Health Agency of Sweden: https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/