Sweden Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Sweden
How Safe is Sweden?
Threat level: Low-Medium
COVID-19 Situation Update in Sweden
Amid the new COVID-19 strain that appeared in the UK, entry to Sweden is restricted for UK travellers.
There are reported cases of the coronavirus in Sweden. To contain the spread of the virus, the country has put in national and regional voluntary guidelines such as avoiding public transport and non-essential shopping, wearing a face mask on public transport, avoiding public gatherings and events, avoiding mixing with people from other households and limiting to eight per table the number of people sitting together in restaurants and cafes. Residents with flue-like symptoms and the elderly are advised to stay at home and people are advised to work remotely from home if they can. People should follow these recommendations especially in locations where the infection rate is high including in Stockholm, Västra Götaland, Östergötland, Halland, Örebro and Jönköping.
Since the 18th of December, non-essential workplaces such as gyms, swimming pools and libraries are shut until the 24th of January. The use of face masks is mandatory on public transport during peak hours and only four people can meet inside a restaurant.
If you are in Sweden to limit contagion, wear a face mask, sanitise your hands, maintain social distancing, avoid travel unless necessary and avoid crowded places.
Recent Security Risk Events
The current level of threat maintained by the Swedish governments is currently at level 3, with 5 being the most serious, therefore, the current travel advice for Sweden is for visitors to remain cautious and to be aware of their surroundings.
There have been reports of possible threats from ISIS towards the capital Stockholm. The Swedish Intelligence Services have been working closely with the Iraqi Intelligence service on this matter, but as a whole since the Belgium and Paris Attacks, countries across Europe have become more vigilant.
Southern Area of Sweden caution is advised due to previous grenade and car bombings relating to domestic organised crime.
On the 7th of April 2017 a large truck was driven into a crowd along a popular shopping street before crashing into a major department store at the Åhlens Mall in Klarabergsgatan, central Stockholm. It is said that three "gunmen" fled the scene of the incident, firing shots. Many injuries are reported and Police have confirmed that there are three deaths. This is the same area of Stockholm where a terror attack took place seven years ago. It is reported that the truck was hi-jacked earlier in the day and a later search discovered a home-made explosive device. Police made one arrest following the incident. More information will follow.
Petty crime for example pickpocketing can like all European countries occur, it is often areas frequented by tourists and busy areas which are the main risk. Areas such as Stockholm’s old town and central station.
Crime in Sweden has largely remained steady within the country over the past ten years, with the rate of robbery relatively remaining the same, if not dropping during some periods. This is despite an increasing population, with its statistics looking favourably if compared to other European countries.
Organised crime in southern Sweden in areas such as Gothenburg and Malmo have previously been reported. The most severe demonstrating violence with munitions such as grenades and car bombs. There has been a surge in bomb attacks in Sweden as part of gang violence with 160 attacks recorded in 2018.
Sweden is currently experiencing an immigration crisis and with this a raise in violent crime against the citizens of Sweden. Policing has been stretched very thin due to the sudden influx of migrants.
Sweden's International Relations
Sweden is not part of NATO, and has historically had a close relationship with the Baltic States. It believes that providing security for its country is via staying free of alliances in order to remain neutral. The Nordic region is home to some geographical locations of strategic importance for security with the Baltic area.
It is a member of the United Nations, Nordic Council and since 1995 has been a member of the European Union.
Russia and Sweden have had a long standing history diplomatically as well as in war time eras. As of to date the relationship is one of discussion with regards to Russia’s bombers operating closely to Swedish Airspace.
With Sweden’s healthy economy and manufacturing exports, this has made Sweden a target for more white collar initiatives including espionage and cyber-attacks.
Travelling around Sweden
When travelling by car in Sweden, British nationals do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but a motor insurance green card issued by their car insurer is required to drive a UK-registered car in the EU.
From December 1st through to March 31st, weather in Sweden is subject to harsh and wintery weather conditions.
Care must be taken upon the roads during colder climate times for snow and ice upon the roads, accidents can be prevalent in certain areas. During this time vehicles are required by law to have weather specific tyres.
As part of the country's mandatory driving qualification, harsh weather condition including Skid training is undertaken.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency Services in Sweden
Coast Guard: 0155 46 71 00 (Air Patrol)
Coast Guard: 0857 89 76 00 (Command North East)
Coast Guard: 0317 27 91 00 (Command South West)
Religion: Christianity (Church of Sweden)
Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
Time now in Stockholm:
Consular information for Sweden
Telephone: +46 (0) 8671 30 00
United States Embassy
U.S. Embassy of Stockholm
Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31,
Telephone: +46 8783 53 00
Fax: +46 8661 19 64
Visa requirements for Sweden
On stays longer than 90 days a Visa may be required. Sweden is part of the Schengen Agreement meaning that most tourists can travel and stay in Sweden for 90 days visa free.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU, British nationals can travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, to stay longer than 90 days in Sweden whether for work, study, business travel or any other reasons, a visa will be required. Please note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days will be cumulative and will count towards the 90-day limit.
Healthcare and Immunisations
If you are a British citizen, your UK EHIC card remains valid when travelling to an EU country until it expires, providing access to state-provided healthcare in Sweden. After that, British citizens must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which will cover them for state-provided healthcare in the EU. Nevertheless, you will be required to show proof on arrival that you have travel insurance for your trip.
It is advised that visitors to Sweden are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get a Tetanus vaccination. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Tick-borne Encephalitis as it is present in some areas of the country. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
In the southern half of Sweden there is a small risk of catching Tick borne viruses, children native to the country traditionally are vaccinated against such sickness.