New Swedish Covid-19 guidelines from November: no tests for double vaccinated

The Swedish Public Health Agency has announced a change in the Covid-19 guidelines. From November 1st, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to take a Covid-19 test before returning to work after they recover – with a few exceptions.

Vaccine bottles being filled
New recommendations may reduce time at home for double-vaccinated. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The new guidelines also apply to people who have recently been infected with Covid-19 and children under six.

“You should feel better and back to your normal self, even if you still have some respiratory symptoms. For most people this means you should stay at home for at least a few days, but often up to a week” said Karin Tegmark Wisell, deputy state epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency, at a press conference.

Although tests are no longer required for these people, the Public Health Agency still recommends that people with symptoms of respiratory infections stay at home until they feel better, returning to work, school or preschool once they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. This is also to help avoid spreading other respiratory illnesses such as RSV virus (a common winter virus mainly affecting children) and influenza.

Unvaccinated individuals should follow previous recommendations to take a Covid-19 test and stay at home while waiting for an answer if experiencing symptoms.

The recommendation to take a Covid-19 test and stay at home while waiting for an answer if experiencing respiratory symptoms also still applies to healthcare and care home workers, those working with the elderly, elderly people receiving at-home care, and people receiving treatment for suspected Covid-19.

People who know or suspect that they may have been infected should also still follow recommendations to get tested – even if they are fully vaccinated.

The Public Health Agency stated that the new measures were due to the level of vaccination coverage in Sweden, which is said had lowered the risk of serious consequences of Covid-19, as well as the risk of spreading the virus.

As of Thursday, 84.4 percent of Sweden’s over-16 population had had one dose, and 79.4 percent two doses.

Member comments

  1. “People who know or suspect that they may have been infected should also still follow recommendations to get tested – even if they are fully vaccinated.”
    This is confusing – so if you have been in close contact with somebody who did get the virus, you should get tested (even if you’ve been vaccinated?)

    Then is the no tests necessary for vaccinated people only for those who get cold like symptoms without any clear contagion route?
    I’m not sure why they keep the quoted recommendation. It’s just even more confusing.

    1. Hi, yes, that is also our understanding. Fully vaccinated people who develop symptoms in general don’t have to get tested according to the new recommendations (but should still stay at home), but fully vaccinated people who know they have been exposed to the virus (for example if they’ve been in close contact with someone with confirmed Covid or have been contacted by contact tracers) should still get tested.

  2. Are people wearing masks in Sweden? I’m coming to Stockholm late February and. I’m so used to it here in the US.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”