Sweden’s government confirms most Covid restrictions will be lifted next week

Sweden's government and Public Health Agency confirmed that it will definitely go ahead with the fourth and penultimate stage of its re-opening plan next week, with a firm warning for unvaccinated people.

Sweden's government confirms most Covid restrictions will be lifted next week
All remaining restrictions on hospitality and events in Sweden will be removed next week. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

“Many people have made big sacrifices in their daily life. Now it is time for the Swedish people to meet again,” said Health Minister Lena Hallengren at a press conference. “From September 29th, we are taking a big step towards the life we had before the pandemic.”

She was joined by Culture Minister Amanda Lind and the Public Health Agency’s general director Johan Carlson, who said that compared to the agency’s previous forecasts, the current levels of infection were in line with “the lowest possible curve”.

The ministers confirmed that Sweden would definitely go ahead with previously announced changes from September 29th, including the removal of audience limits at all public events, the removal of all remaining restrictions for restaurants and bars, and the removal of the Public Health Agency’s recommendations for the general public such as to work from home if possible.

However, for people aged over 18 who are not yet fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (unless they have a medical reason not to be vaccinated), further restrictions apply. People in this group will still need to follow recommendations to avoid crowding and close contact with other people.

“Unvaccinated people must continue to adapt their life after September 29th by not visiting bars, restaurants, events where there may be crowding, for example,” said Carlson.

He said that regions had been asked to look into areas and groups with low vaccination rates, noting that “because of an uneven rate of vaccination coverage, we will see cluster outbreaks”.

Throughout the press conference, all three repeated the importance of vaccination in maintaining a low spread of Covid-19 in Sweden, and urged members of the public to get their vaccine.

“You can help other people to get an appointment, or if you are going to a party, check that others there are vaccinated,” advised Hallengren.

No vaccination pass will be used to regulate entry to events or to other businesses, but the government has not ruled out that it may be used in future.

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Easter holidays: What to expect if you’re coming to Sweden in 2022

Tourism to Sweden has been limited for the past two years for obvious reasons, but visitors are starting to return. And those living in countries where Covid-19 is still a thing might be in for a bit of a surprise.

Easter holidays: What to expect if you're coming to Sweden in 2022

Sweden has throughout the pandemic had a relatively light-touch approach to Covid-19 restrictions.

But from the start of this month, the disease is no longer classified as a threat to public health or a critical threat to society, the two temporary laws the government brought in to give it more powers in the pandemic have expired, and the last remaining travel restrictions have been removed. 

Entry restrictions due to Covid-19

Sweden this month did away with its non-EU travel ban, so from April 1st, no traveller needs to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or any other Covid-related documentation, no matter what country they live in, are a citizen of, or are travelling from.

There is also no recommendation to get a Covid-19 test on arrival. There are still testing centres in the departure area for travellers flying outside of Sweden, but the testing stations on arrival at Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter have closed down.

Welcome to Sweden! 

READ ALSO: Who can travel to Sweden now Covid-19 travel rules are lifted? 

Face masks 

From April 1st, it is no longer recommended to wear a face mask when in airports in Sweden, so if you prefer to wear one, you may find yourself almost alone. 

Some airlines, such as British Airways and EasyJet only require passengers to wear masks if the end destination requires them, so you may notice the difference as soon as you get onto your flight. Norwegian lifted its mask requirement for Scandinavia in February. Ryanair, however, is still asking passengers to wear masks on all flights.  

The Public Health Agency lifted its recommendation to wear face masks on public transport when crowded at the start of February, but even when masks were recommended, only about one in ten passengers wore them. 

Again, if you prefer to wear a mask on public transport, you will find yourself alone. 

What restrictions are there in public places? 

None. At the start of February, Sweden removed the recommendation for sports and cultural clubs from arranging big events and competitions indoors, which was the last such recommendation in place.

There are no restrictions whatsoever for festivals, concerts, nightclubs, theatre performances, and all other indoor and outdoor events with a large number of participants. 

Those who are unvaccinated, whether by choice or for medical reasons are advised to avoid crowded places and large indoor events. 

What if I get Covid-19 while in Sweden? 

Even if you do get Covid-19 symptoms when travelling in Sweden, you are no longer expected to go and take a test. The only people recommended to get tested are those that work in or are being treated by the health system, and those who care for the elderly, or live in a care home.

If you get Covid-19 symptoms while travelling within Sweden, by all means take an antigen test or quick test. The Public Health Agency recommends that you should avoid contact with others even if the rapid test is negative. 

This might be a problem when you have to get a flight back home, particularly if you live in a country which required a negative test before boarding your flight.