Is Sweden a dangerous country for tourists?
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Sweden will be due to high numbers of infections currently warned.
Sweden is severely affected by COVID-19. Nationwide, the number of new infections exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why Sweden is classified as an area with a particularly high risk of infection (high incidence area).
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Swedish Health Department (in Swedish) provide current and detailed figures.
A negative COVID-19 test result must be presented upon entry. There may be a maximum of 48 hours between taking the sample and crossing the border. Results from PCR, LAMP and antigen tests are accepted. The test certificate must contain the following information: name of the person tested, time of sample collection, type of test (PCR, LAMP or antigen test), test result, issuer of the certificate. Certificates are accepted in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or French (see also Public Health Authority Folkhälsomyndigheten - in English).
Experience has shown that failure to comply with these requirements, e.g. exceeding the 48-hour period or submitting a test result in German, leads to rejection at the border.
The requirement to submit a negative COVID-19 test includes Swedish nationals, minors, people with permanent residence in Sweden, personnel involved in the movement of goods and goods as well as the transport sector, cross-border commuters (must have a test carried out once a week), seafarers and Excluding those arriving for urgent family reasons.
Corresponding reasons for an exception to the requirement to submit a negative COVID-19 test must be able to be substantiated with meaningful documents at the border. The health authority also recommends that this group of people, who fall under an exception rule, be tested upon arrival and segregated for seven days. Further information on the test requirement and entry restrictions from third countries is published by the Swedish government and the Swedish police. All travelers (including those exempt from the requirement to submit a negative COVID-19 test) should follow the Public Health Authority's recommendations for inbound travelers.
Transit and onward travel
It is possible to travel through Sweden to a limited extent, although the entry regulations of the destination country must be observed. The travel and safety information for Norway and the travel and safety information for Finland provide information on entering Norway or Finland. The travel and safety information for Denmark and the German embassy in Copenhagen provide information on entry, transit and return travel by land, air and sea via Denmark.
All common travel connections are served, but at a much lower frequency. The conditions of carriage are published on the websites of the respective providers.
Restrictions in the country
The Swedish authorities urge you to refrain from unnecessary travel. Symptom-free people are generally allowed to move freely in the country, but should choose low-contact means of travel when traveling, avoid public transport and not make any new contacts during the trip or at the destination. Capacity restrictions apply to buses and trains on routes longer than 150 kilometers. The respective municipal regulations apply to local public transport.
Facilities such as libraries, swimming pools, museums and amusement parks are closed or have restricted opening times and access restrictions. Binding distance regulations apply in public spaces, e.g. in restaurants. Hotels, camping and mountain huts are open with restrictions.
Gatherings of more than eight people are prohibited.
The Swedish Health Department has published codes of conduct that apply nationwide.
In the event of violations, fines of up to SEK 2,000 (approx. € 200) can be imposed, in serious cases charges of “spreading diseases” can be brought.
The Swedish Civil Protection Agency offers country-specific information in English and other languages.
The population is urged to comply with distance and hygiene rules. It is recommended that mouth and nose protection be worn throughout the country in local public transport during rush hour. For the city of Stockholm, there is a comprehensive recommendation for masks in all public spaces, regardless of the time of day.
- Note the detailed information on the health situation based on data from the ECDC, existing restrictions including quarantine and testing requirements for travelers and mobile coronavirus contact tracking and warning apps on Re-open EU.
- If you have cold symptoms, isolate yourself for up to two days after they have subsided. Find out more about the applicable rules and measures and additional information on the websites of the Swedish Health Department, the Swedish government and the Swedish embassy in Berlin.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact the nearest health center (vård central) or medical information on telephone number 1177 (reachable from a German / foreign mobile phone as follows: +46 771 1177 00). In the event of an acute medical emergency, dial the emergency number (112).
- Always follow the advice of local authorities.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Since March 2016, the Swedish National Center for Terrorist Threat Assessment has set the warning level 3 of 5, "elevated", to international terrorism threats.
In April 2017, a truck attack was carried out in central Stockholm.
Petty crimes such as pickpockets are particularly common in city centers, tourist centers and transfer areas such as ferries and airports. Thefts such as handbag theft also occur in hotels.
Gang crime with isolated violent clashes can be found in some districts of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Car break-ins and attacks on caravan owners and mobile homes are also not uncommon.
- Keep money, IDs, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe and ideally save copies electronically.
- Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations and in local public transport and watch out for your valuables.
- Go to guarded campsites and do not leave valuables in vehicles.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
There is a cool, inland dry continental climate, which is tempered by the influence of the Gulf Stream.
In summer, bush and forest fires can occur in Sweden, especially after periods of drought. Impairment of the infrastructure must be expected in these cases.
In winter, temperature drops and extreme cold in the north, snowstorms and freezing rain are the order of the day.
Adequate safety precautions (life jackets, mobile phones, leashes, etc.) should be taken on excursions on the numerous lakes and on the coast, also due to the low water temperatures.
In the north of the country and in winter, activities require good preparation and equipment.
- Always find out about the weather.
- Pay attention to the relevant reports and weather reports in the media.
- Avoid areas affected by fire.
- Take into account the climatic conditions and plan activities accordingly.
- Be sure to heed warnings about currents or thin ice.
- In the darker seasons outside of the cities, wear yellow reflective vests when walking and cycling, as is customary in Sweden.
- Follow the instructions and, if necessary, instructions from the local authorities, e.g. on crisis information.
Sweden has temporarily introduced border controls - regardless of the corona pandemic. Random checks are carried out at all border crossing points.
There is an increasing number of cases, especially at the rest areas in front of the Øresund Bridge in Denmark, where hitchhikers ask to be taken to Sweden for free or for a fee. During border controls on the Swedish side of the bridge, German motorists must expect arrest and charges of people smuggling if it turns out that the persons they have taken with them do not have a valid travel document or a valid Schengen residence permit. The same applies in the case of drug smuggling.
- Always have a valid travel document with you.
- Do not take strangers or strangers across the Danish-Swedish border with you.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
There are well-developed bus and train connections, especially high-speed trains between the big cities, as well as a good network of public transport such as a subway in Stockholm. It is necessary to purchase a card that can be loaded with credit in advance. Smartphone owners can also purchase tickets via the city transport operator's app (for Stockholm: SL, for Gothenburg: Västtrafik). Notice boards and counters at the main train stations, but not at smaller stations or in buses, provide information about tariff systems. There is only very limited parking space in the city centers.
In Sweden you have to drive with dipped headlights or daytime running lights all year round, even during the day.
A limit of 0.2 per mille applies in road traffic. Anyone who “can no longer safely drive a vehicle” under the influence of alcohol or narcotics can also be convicted of being drunk. There are high penalties for violations (including prison sentences of up to two years).
There are no tolerance limits for exceeding the speed limit. Penalties are significantly higher than in Germany.
The applicable parking rules must be observed. Wrong parking is subject to high fines or fees (for private parking lot owners). Due to street cleaning, many parking spaces are subject to time restrictions, as can be seen from the dates and times. Parking spaces in the same area are often assigned to different machines. At some machines, payment is only possible with Swedish bonus or credit cards. Alternatively, parking tickets can often also be purchased using parking apps. You can find information on parking lot signs in a brochure from the Swedish Transport Authority.
Since the beginning of February 2018, the use of mobile phones while driving has been prohibited. There is a risk of high fines. The use of other communication devices while driving is also prohibited if it has a negative effect on driving the vehicle.
Stockholm and Gothenburg have a city center toll, passages are automatically read and registered. The responsible Swedish transport authority can provide information on the city toll.
In remote areas of Sweden there is no cellular network, so that it is not always possible to establish contact with the outside world or to be reachable during longer hikes.
- Let your loved ones know early enough so they don't worry.
The German driving license is recognized.
There are no indications of any particular difficulties; acceptance is particularly good in large cities.
Violation of the prohibition to take photographs and to enter protected military objects is punishable by substantial fines and / or imprisonment.
In contrast to Germany, the Swedish Weapons Act prohibits the carrying, trading and import of tear gas sprays. There are boxes for dropping such aerosol cans at airports. Offenses are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, in minor cases up to six months or a fine.
It is forbidden to use knives in public places. Pocket knives are usually tolerated, however.
Prostitution is a criminal offense in Sweden. The client faces fines or imprisonment of up to one year.
Drug possession - even in small quantities for personal consumption - is prohibited in Sweden, as is consumption itself (imprisonment of up to three years, serious cases also significantly longer sentences).
The consumption of alcohol is prohibited in many public places. The right of determination lies with the respective municipality and is regulated inconsistently. In order to avoid difficulties, it is generally not advisable to consume alcohol in public.
If arrested in Sweden, prisoners on remand - and also their public defenders - are sometimes subject to strict restrictions, such as bans on contact with people outside the prison. It is therefore sometimes very difficult for relatives to obtain information about an inmate on remand while the police investigation is still ongoing.
A changed sex criminal law requires that both partners must expressly and clearly consent to sexual intercourse.
The age of consent for sexual activity in Sweden is at least 15 years. Sexual acts with children and adolescents below this age limit constitute the criminal offense of sexual abuse of minors.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Swedish krona (SEK). In Sweden, small amounts are also paid with an EC or credit card. Cash payments are also not regularly accepted at parking machines or in local public transport. It is recommended that you bring an international credit or bank card with you.
In October 2016, Sweden introduced new 100 and 500 kroner banknotes as well as new 1, 2 and 5 kroner coins. The old notes and coins are invalid, but can be exchanged for a fee via the Swedish Reichsbank. The Sveriges Riksbank can provide more information.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: Yes
- Provisional identity card: Yes
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for the entire duration of the stay.
Sweden is not a party to the European Convention on the Regulation of Passenger Traffic between the member states of the Council of Europe of December 13, 1957, i. H. Travel with an expired passport is not possible.
There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.
Since the beginning of 2018, conscription has existed in Sweden for all Swedish nationals who have reached the age of 18. It started with the 1999 and 2000 cohorts. German-Swedish dual nationals can also be affected by the regulation.
The import and export of goods is subject to the provisions of the European Union. The principle of no physical checks does not exclude random checks in the context of police surveillance of borders and police control of cross-border traffic.
Regulations for the import of alcohol, tobacco and food from Germany to Sweden
The Swedish Customs Tullverket provides the latest information on customs regulations.
Persons younger than 20 years of age are generally not allowed to bring alcohol into Sweden, and persons younger than 18 years of age are generally not allowed to import tobacco into Sweden. People aged 20 or 18 and older can bring alcohol and tobacco to Sweden for their own use.
Food can be imported for personal use. The quantity limit for fish is limited to a maximum of 15 kilos.
For trips with certain pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) to countries of the European Union with the exception of Ireland, Great Britain, Malta and Finland, where different regulations apply, an EU pet passport is required. He serves among other things. as proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture offers a sample ID as well as further information.
The Swedish Board of Agriculture offers up-to-date information on the import of other pets from EU countries, on the import of pets from third countries and on import restrictions for dangerous dog breeds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
- Vaccination against TBE is recommended as a travel vaccination, depending on the travel conditions, the travel destination and the travel time.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
TBE occurs particularly on the east coast of the country in the greater Stockholm area. People who are particularly exposed should be vaccinated (risk about 1 in 100 ticks).
For Lyme disease there is a risk of transmission by 1/3 of all ticks. The risk of illness is low, however. A vaccination is not possible. Protective clothing and direct removal of the tick are recommended.
There have been isolated cases of fox tapeworm (here: dvärgbandmask) that have not yet occurred in Sweden, but the Swedish Food Authority (livsmedelsverket) does not generally advise against consuming blueberries / lingonberries / mushrooms.
In general, the level of care in Sweden is good to very good. Currently, however, there may be bottlenecks in emergency and intensive care medicine due to the high burden on the health system from the corona pandemic.
German citizens, like all other EU citizens who are temporarily staying in Sweden, can, under European Community law, claim benefits under Swedish law in the event of illness. A European insurance card to be issued by the German statutory health insurance company before the start of the journey will be presented as proof of entitlement. In addition to the insurance card, either an identity card or a passport must be presented as proof of identification. For every visit to the doctor, a cost-dependent contribution of at least SEK 200 (approx. € 20) is due immediately.
- Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
- Before you go on a trip, seek personal advice from a travel doctor and adjust your vaccination protection. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.
In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:
- All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
- The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
- All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
- Despite the best possible efforts, the medical information is always only an offer of advice. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.
Country information for your travel destination
Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.
Further information for your trip
The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.
Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations "Al Qaeda" and "Islamic State" (IS) have been threatening with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.
Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of terrorist acts of violence.
Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets. These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.
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