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

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
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.

“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”.

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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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