SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19

Sweden extends advice against international travel until mid-July

Sweden's Foreign Ministry has extended its recommendation to avoid non-essential overseas trips until July 15th, the government announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Sweden extends advice against international travel until mid-July
An empty Arlanda airport. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The advice was initially issued on March 14th for two months, but this is the second time it has been extended, and further extensions may still come, Foreign Minister Ann Linde warned.

She said that the advice was primarily linked to travel restrictions and the fast-changing global situation which could leave travellers stranded rather than the risks posed directly by the coronavirus.

“Quarantines are a reality in a large proportion of the countries of the world. The uncertainty is great. It's not possible to predict when it will be possible to travel freely. This advice may be extended, or could be lifted before July 15th,” Linde warned.

The recommendation isn't legally binding, so it's still possible for individuals to travel although they would have to contend with significant reductions in flight traffic and quarantines for inbound travellers in many countries.

When the Foreign Ministry advises against travel, this also has an impact on things like travel insurance validity, so people who take a non-essential trip against the advice and find themselves stranded or in need of assistance may end up heavily out of pocket.

Linde also said that Sweden welcomed the European Commission's guidelines on international tourism which were published today.

These included recommendations that face masks should be worn during travel, although Sweden's Public Health Agency has expressed doubts over the effectiveness of such a measure.

“There is a risk for false sense of security, that you feel you can't be infected if you have a face mask,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also said. 

At the same press conference, the government announced a slight relaxing of recommendations relating to domestic travel. Long non-essential journeys should still be avoided, but travel of up to two hours by car, within small groups of family or close friends, is possible if people use common sense, ministers said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

Covid-19 has not been classified as a "critical threat to society" in Sweden since April. But the Swedish Public Health Agency still recommends that everyone aged 12 and above get vaccinated. So when should you get your next dose?

When should I get my next dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden?

As winter approaches, it’s a good time to check that you’re up to date on your booster shots.

If you’re aged 12 or older, the agency recommends that you should at least have completed your primary dose of the vaccine, which comprises two shots. Because vaccine efficacy wanes over time, if you are aged 18 and above, you should have already had your third dose.

The booster dose, called a påfyllnadsdos, can be administered a minimum of four months after the primary dose or the most recent booster. A booster shot is recommended even if you have tested positive for Covid-19 since your most recent vaccination, because the protection offered by a vaccine is more reliable than that offered by an infection.

The agency has also warned that the Omicron BA.5 variant spreads more easily than previous Covid-19 mutations.

Deliveries of two of the new vaccines targeting the new variant, Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1, have arrived in Sweden but have not yet reached all health regions, meaning it is not certain that if you will currently receive the updated vaccine. 

A third vaccine, an adapted version of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), is expected to arrive in Sweden in October. 

READ ALSO: When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Sweden?

The höstdosen, or “autumn vaccine”

On September 1, the agency issued new guidelines for a höstdosen, or autumn vaccine dose.

During the campaign, all adults aged 18 and over who belong to an at-risk group are recommended to get a booster dose, as are seniors aged 65 and above. 

Risk categories include people who are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, have heart and lung diseases, or have Down syndrome.

You can get the autumn booster regardless of how many vaccine doses you may have received, which means it might be a fourth shot for some people, and a fifth for others.

The autumn vaccine is also available for those aged 18-64 who do not fall into any of the at-risk categories but would like a fourth dose. The Swedish Public Health Agency has said that regional health providers must make booster doses available to those who want them.

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Folkhälsomyndigheten

Chart showing recommended vaccination schedules. Chart: Swedish Public Health Agency

How do I get an appointment for the autumn dose? 

Region Stockholm has been offering appointments for an autumn vaccination to everyone over 18 since September 12th. You can book a dose through the Alltid Öppet app

In Region Skåne, the region responsible for healthcare in Malmö and Lund, appointments for an autumn vaccine have been available since August 22nd. Appointments are available for vaccinations in Region Stockholm, as are drop-in times at locations listed on 1177.se.

In Region Västergötland, the region responsible for healthcare in Gothenburg, health centres, or vårdcentraler, are prioritising people aged 80 and older.

Those in other categories, including at-risk adults 18 and older and seniors over 65, are requested to make their vaccination appointments with other providers through 1177.se

SHOW COMMENTS