Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.
We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.
It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements. We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate.
We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel
A very significant number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Sweden; over 3,000 as of 27 March 2020.
Sweden’s Public Health Agency has set the risk of the spread of the coronavirus to very high – its highest risk assessment level.
In recent updates on the pandemic, the Swedish Public Health Agency noted that there is now a community spread of the virus, and that there are signs that community transmission is occurring outside of the larger cities. This will inevitably put the healthcare system under increasing pressure.
The Public Health Agency is advising against travel within Sweden’s borders due to Covid-19. With the approach of the Easter holidays, the Embassy urges people to refrain from travelling within Sweden where possible.
If you are in Sweden, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See recent updates, dedicated phone lines and links to relevant websites below.
• Please be aware that on Saturday 14/03, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice to advise against non-essential travel to all countries.
• This decision was taken on 14 March 2020 and the advice applies until 14 April 2020, when the situation will be reappraised.
• Sweden has not closed its borders, however the Swedish Government has indicated that it will not back away from taking new and decisive measures if and when necessary. The Government has introduced a 30-day ban on those travelling from outside the EU into Sweden, with a limited number of exemptions. Ireland is NOT included in this ban.
• Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on Friday 27/03 announced that the Swedish Government is banning gatherings of more than 50 people. This will replace the earlier ban on gatherings of up to 500 people.
• The public were told “do not travel during Easter if you don’t have to...do not go out if not necessary.”
• For the first time, the Swedish Police now say that those who break the new restrictions will risk fines and prison sentences up to 6 months.
• The situation remains very unpredictable and new measures may indeed be brought in swiftly, as they have been in other European countries.
Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate for the coming weeks. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible. See the General Travel Advisory issued by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. here.
In the light of the above and the ongoing escalation of the situation, Irish citizens currently visiting Sweden and planning to return to Ireland, are advised to make arrangements to return home as soon as possible, and to confirm any flight plans with the relevant airline immediately.
Airlines operating between Sweden and Ireland:
Please be aware that airlines are limiting and curtailing services. We advise you to monitor the airline websites closely.
• Flights from Stockholm: only SAS and Norwegian Air have direct flights to Ireland from Stockholm Arlanda, and these have been significantly curtailed.
• Flights from Gothenburg: Ryanair fly from Gothenburg Landvetter to Dublin, however it appears that there are no flights available until May.
Services in Sweden:
• Information Number: Call 113 13 for information regarding COVID-19
• Healthcare advice: call 1177 if you or someone else gets ill and you need to talk to a nurse for advice
Further WebsitesInformation Sources:
Krisinformation.se – Emergency Information from Swedish Authorities
HSE Medical Advice:
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Further Information Sources:
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
COVID-19 Global Cases – Johns Hopkins University
COVID-19 Resource Centre – The Lancet
Latest Travel Alert
Sweden is a relatively safe country; however, all European countries now face an ongoing risk of terrorist attacks. The terrorist threat level against Sweden is 3 ("Elevated") on a 5-point scale. This assessment is made by the National Centre for Terrorist Threat.
Five people were killed in an attack on Stockholm in April 2017, and recently a number of people have been arrested on suspicion of planning an attack in Sweden. Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.
As of 04 January 2016, the Swedish government are mandating that all rail, bus and ferry operators carry out ID checks on all passengers travelling to Sweden. Any Irish citizens intending to travel to Sweden, including by train from Copenhagen via the Öresund Bridge, should make sure that they are carrying their passport or passport card in order to ensure that they will be allowed to enter Sweden.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Sweden by dialling 112.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
On 18 November 2015, the Swedish authorities raised the national terrorist threat level. Visitors to Sweden can expect an increased police presence at public places such as airports and railway stations.
Although the threat from terrorism in Sweden is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Crime remains relatively low in Sweden but you should take sensible precautions.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Sweden, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
In an emergency you can call 112 and ask to speak to the police. The operator will be able to speak English. In non-emergency situations, you can report a crime to the nearest police station or call 114 14 to file a police report.
The rules of the road in Sweden are broadly similar to those in Ireland, and roads are modern and well maintained. Be aware that conditions can be hazardous, especially in winter, when you should equip your car for the severe climate.
- Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught. Alcohol levels equal to or more than 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per litre of breath can result in imprisonment for a maximum of 24 months
- Be aware of Sweden’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
- Winter tyres are obligatory from 1 December to 1 April each year, but you must drive with your headlights on at all times throughout the entire year
- Drivers are obliged to give priority to pedestrians at all times
- When driving in Sweden, particularly in the north of the country, wild animals straying on the roads, such as deer and elk, can be an added danger
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
You should be aware that the traffic will be coming from the opposite direction to traffic in Ireland. Be extra careful at night when walking along roads without a proper pavement and when crossing roads, even at a designated crossing place.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
The Swedish authorities have little tolerance for public drunkenness and police have the right to detain people they judge to be very intoxicated.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Sweden. You can stay as a visitor for up to three months, but if you intend to stay for longer, you should contact a Migration Board office.
Swedish Krona is the official currency of Sweden. Major credit cards are widely accepted, but cheques are not.
Please note that if you require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, + 46 (0) 8 54504040 and leave an urgent message when prompted. This mailbox is monitored regularly and a duty officer will return emergency calls.
Embassy of Ireland
111 48 Stockholm
Monday to Friday 09:30-12:00 and 14:00-16:30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.