October is not a big month for international tourism to Scandinavia, aside from the northern lights. The natural phenomenon has exploded in popularity in recent years, attracting significant tourism from around the world, especially Asia. But this year, the borders remain closed to most foreign tourists.

Ongoing coronavirus border restrictions

Since travel restrictions to restrict the spread of the coronavirus were introduced in March, tourism has been mainly limited to domestic travel, although visitors from some other countries have been permitted to visit the region during the summer. But with much of Europe now experiencing a second wave of positive COVID-19 tests, tourism is again off the table for many Europeans.

Tourism from the U.S. to all Scandianvian countries has remained impossible for almost seven months. Sweden’s current restrictions on non-EU tourism remain in place until October 31 but could be extended, while Denmark and Norway have given no dates.

It should be noted that while exemptions exist for entry bans in all three countries, it is the border control personnel that decide upon the case. Exemptions cannot be applied for or given in advance.


The Danish border remains closed to tourists from outside the EU/EEA/Schenghen area, with the following exceptions: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The border is open to residents of EU/EEA/Schenghen countries that have a sufficiently low infection rate. As of October 3, the list of open countries includes: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Some business travel is permitted along with family visits and those beginning a program of study, even from banned countries. See the website of the Danish Police for full details along with required documentation.


Norway remains closed to all tourists from outside of the EU/EEA/Schenghen area. There are some exemptions for documented business travel, those starting a study program and some family visits, but the rules are complex.

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Norway’s border is open to visitors from EU/EEA/Schenghen area countries but anyone arriving must serve a mandatory 10-day quarantine period, essentially ruling out tourism from those countries.

There are some exceptions to the quarantine for countries with a sufficiently low rate of infection, but only Greenland, Latvia, Liechtenstein and selected regions of Finland and Sweden are on that list as of October 3.


Non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU/EEA/Schenghen area is banned until October 31. Exemptions to the ban are available for close family members of a Swedish resident, necessary business travel, those coming to begin a program of study, and residents of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Sweden is the most open of all Scandianvian countries when it comes to Europeans. Residents of all EU/EEA countries along with Switzerland and the U.K. are permitted to enter Sweden.