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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Sweden - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Sweden.
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs in areas frequented by tourists, particularly in urban areas during the summer months. The areas include:
- Stockholm’s Old Town
- the Central Station
- on public transportation
Pickpockets and purse snatchers may work in teams. One distracts the victim while another commits the robbery.
Be particularly alert in hotel lobbies and breakfast rooms, as they attract professional, well-dressed thieves. These thieves blend in with the guests and target bags and purses of distracted patrons.
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Gang and organized crime-related violence occurs mainly in the three largest cities in Sweden:
While violent incidents have not typically occurred in areas frequented by tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. In Sweden, an attacker drove a truck into crowds on a pedestrian street in central Stockholm on April 7, 2017. The incident caused injuries and deaths. Further attacks in Europe are likely.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.
The Government of Sweden maintains a public alert system on terrorism. The Government communicates threat level changes online and through local media.
More information about the local terrorist threat level - Swedish Security Service
Demonstrations occur from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Road conditions and road safety are excellent. Some roads may be closed in winter, particularly in northern areas.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
COVID-19 - Entry to the European Union countries
The recent European Council’s announcement about the reopening of European Union’s external borders to travellers arriving from certain countries, including Canada, is only a recommendation to the EU Member States. Member States make their own individual determination of who they allow to enter and under what conditions. Special entry requirements could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel. Check with the diplomatic mission of the countries you plan on visiting and transiting through to know who they allow to enter and under what conditions.
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Contact your airline or tour operator to confirm your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Swedish authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Sweden is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Temporary border controls
The Swedish government has reintroduced internal border controls at all ports of entry. Canadians may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Sweden, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Business visa: Not required
Student resident permit: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Work permit: Required
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 19, 2020
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Canada and Sweden are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Sweden to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Swedish authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Sweden.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Sweden, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
Compulsory military service
As of January 1, 2018, the Swedish government reinstated compulsory military service for all its citizens 18 years of age, starting with those born between 1999 and 2000.
Dual Canadian/Swedish citizens may be subject to this requirement.
More about military service - Swedish Defence Recruitment Agency ( in Swedish only)
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
A Canadian driver’s licence can be used to drive in Sweden for up to one year. You should also carry an international driving permit.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.02 percent.
The use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited, except if you use a hands-free device.
Headlights must be on at all times.
The use of seat belts is mandatory.
Approved child or booster seats are required for children under seven years old.
Vehicles must be fitted with winter tires from December 1 to March 31.
A congestion tax is imposed on weekdays for vehicles entering and exiting Stockholm between 6:30 a.m. and 6:29 p.m., and Gothenburg between 6 a.m. and 6:29 p.m.
- More about the congestion tax - Swedish Transport Agency
- More information about driving in Sweden - European Commission
- More about the International Driving Permit
The currency of Sweden is the Swedish krona (SEK).
Most credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) are widely accepted. American Express and traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted.
ATMs are widely available, but many shops and restaurants no longer accept cash.
If you are carrying more than €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs upon your entry or exit to the European Union. The sum can be in cash, cheque, money order, traveller’s cheque or any other convertible asset. This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
More information about cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Floods and windstorms could occur. Sweden’s geographical location makes it prone to severe winter weather.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Stockholm - Embassy of Canada
Gothenburg - Consulate of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Stockholm and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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