Easter travel can go ahead, but ‘if you’re unsure, stay home’: Swedish health agency

Easter travel can go ahead, but 'if you're unsure, stay home': Swedish health agency
People waitig for a train in Uppsala. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT
Sweden’s Public Health Agency said people can go ahead with Easter travel plans as long as they take sufficient precautions,

Sara Byfors from the Public Health Agency, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said the largest risks were crowded roads and skiing resorts.

She said people should avoid taking breaks at service stations and not meet anyone outside of their current social circle, either during the journey or at the destination. This particularly includes any contact with less than a 1.5-2 metre distance for more than about 15 minutes.

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Byfors said there was no evidence of skiing resorts having caused serious infections during the ‘sportlov’ break, so the agency’s judgment is that Easter holidays can be done safely. She said the important factors are that everyone takes personal responsibility, do not travel if they felt ill, including having plans for a route home without coming into close contact with anyone in case they fall ill during the trip.

“If you are unsure, it is better to stay at home,” she said.

In general Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise in Sweden, including in Stockholm and Västra Götaland, though the trend in Skåne was more positive.

The 14-day incidence rate nationwide has reached 720 (compared to 756 in Stockholm, 800 in Västra Götaland, and 484 in Skåne).

Other updates from the press conference:

  • The healthcare system is still under severe pressure in Sweden. There are currently 1529 patients with Covid-19 in Swedish hospitals, 124 more patients than the previous week.
  • This includes 319 in intensive care, which is an increase from 282 last week.
  • Nationally the Swedish ICU has 18 percent available capacity, below the target of 20 percent.
  • Last week saw the most Covid-19 tests ever carried out in one week in Sweden: 330,000. But test positivity still increased, from 11 to 12 percent.

Member comments

  1. No you are not wrong, this is well known everywhere apart from here.
    As it is well known that masks do help reduce the spread and are, all in all, a pretty easy demand (with respect to lock-downs for example). The mantra “everyone takes their responsibilities” is too arbitrary, and people have completely different ideas of what is sensible. I had the misfortune of getting in a MAX hamburger place yesterday during a return journey from the north, I think that, apart from the people working there, I was the only idiot wearing a mask. 3 mt from us a guy was candidly coughing. I think the people of this country has been fooled to believe this is just a flu. Yet I cannot explain myself how the number of cases and death is surprisingly small, given such weak and casual measures. To be fair I am quite unimpressed by the inaction of this government, and very surprised by Sweden usually seen as a model in many aspects

  2. Sorry, could someone explain this to me? Maybe I am wrong, even one year into the pandemic.

    Because there is a lag time between being infected with Covid-19 and then seeing symptoms, doesn’t that mean that everyone is *always* unsure of whether they have been infected? And that they are infectious even during the period before symptoms appear?

    If that is true, then how is the approach where you only tell people to stay home after symptoms have appeared a strategy for stopping the spread of the virus? That, along with the lack of requirement for wearing a facemask, seems like like that is a strategy that lets the virus continue to spread.

    Please, someone point out to me the fault in my logic. Maybe I am wrong.

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