The governments of Norway and Denmark have eased Covid requirements for international travellers to the two countries, alongside changes to domestic Covid restrictions. By contrast, Sweden has chosen to extend its temporary travel ban on non-essential international travel until February for European travellers, and until the end of March for all other countries.
Finland also eased its Covid-related border regulations for all EU member states and Schengen area countries on 1 February.
Norway lifts testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers
The government of Norway lifted testing requirements for fully vaccinated international travellers from Tuesday 1 February. However, all travellers to Norway will still be required to register using an online portal upon entry for infection tracking purposes, including returning Norwegian citizens and fully vaccinated individuals.
In addition, individuals must provide a valid Covid-19 digital certificate showing proof of full vaccination or a recent infection to enter. Unvaccinated travellers must still provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 24 hours of departure.
The change was announced alongside a raft of other changes including:
- The lifting of restrictions on guest numbers for indoor and outdoor events
- The removal of distance requirements between seats for cinemas, theatres, churches, etc
- The reopening of entertainment venues such as arcades and amusement parks and the end of restrictions on indoor and outdoor sports events
- The removal of government work from home recommendations and the encouragement of educational establishments to return to in-person teaching.
The one metre social distancing recommendations and the requirement to wear a face mask when unable to keep a distance remain in place. However, in a statement the Norwegian government said that it aims to remove all remaining national restrictions by 17 February.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented: “The virus variant we have now produces less serious disease than previous variants. And even though many people become infected, fewer people are hospitalised. We are well protected by vaccines. This means that we can now ease a great many measures, even though the infection is rising rapidly.”
Denmark relaxes post-arrival testing and quarantine measures
The Danish government removed the requirement for all travellers to present a post-arrival Covid test and undergo a mandatory quarantine on 1 February.
Like in Norway, the removal of the international travel measures coincides with the removal of domestic restrictions such as the mask requirements, curfew restrictions and the need to present vaccine certification to enter leisure facilities.
According to a press release by the Danish Health Ministry: “The Epidemic Commission has recommended that the stricter requirement for testing prior to entry into Denmark expires after January 31, but that the previous general entry restrictions that applied before the introduction of the stricter temporary requirements continue from February 1 and provisionally until February 28.
Consequently, some entry requirements – such as the requirement to present pre-departure tests – will remain in effect.
Sweden extends temporary ban on international travel
The government of Sweden meanwhile announced an extension to its temporary ban on non-essential travel to the country until 28 February for European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) travellers, and until 31 March for travellers from countries outside the EU and EEA.
The decision, published in a press release on 27 January, was reportedly made ‘due to the continued uncertainty concerning transmission of Covid-19.’
Individuals who are exempt from the entry ban must present a valid EU digital certificate or valid equivalent showing full vaccination, as well as a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, or evidence of a recent Covid recovery within the last six months.
The decision also removed previously imposed exemptions to the travel ban for people entering Sweden from Argentina, Australia and Canada.
Amendments to the entry ban for people residing in Argentina, Australia and Canada
The Government has also today decided to remove Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list of countries whose residents are generally exempt from the entry ban solely on the ground that they reside there. The decision applies from 31 January 2022.