Coronavirus in Sweden: What are the national recommendations?

Coronavirus in Sweden: What are the national recommendations?
Stay home if you're sick, limit social contacts, and follow the rules for keeping distance at shops. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Sweden's national coronavirus recommendations, including keeping a distance from others in public and avoiding public places with a risk of crowding, remain in place as cases rise across the country.

Here is an overview of the recommendations in place in Sweden for private individuals. Note that separate recommendations and laws apply to businesses, schools, workplaces, gyms and restaurants, so when you are in these places you should follow any rules set out on signs or by staff.

  • Stay at home if you have any cold- or flu-like symptoms and avoid having close contact with anyone, for at least seven days after first feeling ill and two days after being fully symptom-free. Get tested for the coronavirus if you have symptoms like a cough, fever, headache or sore throat that last more than 24 hours and have no other obvious cause. 
     
  • If someone in your household tests positive for the coronavirus, or someone you have had close contact with, you should also stay at home even if you have no symptoms. The same applies for children who share a household with someone who tests positive, although young children may still go to preschool. 
     
  • Keep distance from all other people when in public places, both indoors and outdoors. The Public Health Agency has generally spoken about keeping a distance of 1.5-2 metres from other people.

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  • Avoid places that have a risk of crowding. This means for example avoid shopping at busy times if you can, keep visits to shops and similar places as brief as possible, and only go alone rather than with friends or family. Follow the recommendations shown on signs in places like shops and gyms, such as limits on customer numbers or markings on the floor helping you to keep a distance in queues.
     
  • Practise good hygiene, for example by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
     
  • Avoid large gatherings, including parties, weddings, and other activities.
     
  • Limit your social contacts and meet only a few people in your close social circle (the government has said that your 'bubble' should be a maximum of eight people, but the Public Health Agency does not specify a limit, saying only “the fewer people, the better”). Avoid being part of multiple 'bubbles' or groups. When meeting people in your close circle, meeting outdoors is recommended if possible, but you should still keep a distance even when outdoors.
     
  • Work from home if you can, as much as you can. Employers should be allowing everyone who can work from home to do so.

  • If you cannot work from home, keep a distance of at least 1.5-2 metres from other people as much as possible, including while working and during breaks or lunchtime. For people working in schools, you are generally advised to keep a distance from other adults including at breaks.
     
  • If possible, avoid using forms of public transport where you can't book a ticket.
     
  • If you have to travel on public transport, avoid busy times such as rush hour if you can and keep distance from others while on board and at stations or stops. Wear a face mask during 7-9am and 4-6pm on weekdays (bear in mind that many regions now recommend face masks at all times on public transport, as well as in other situations).
     
  • If you return to Sweden from foreign travel, you should self-isolate for at least seven days, and get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible after arrival (if you did not need to show a negative test to enter the country) and on the fifth day after arriving (this applies to everyone).
     
  • Follow local recommendations. In addition to these national guidelines, stricter local rules may be introduced in response to local outbreaks. As of March 1st, local measures were in place in nine of Sweden's 21 regions, varying slightly by region. Find out the situation in your area here.

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