Sweden to roll out Covid pass to remaining groups ‘by year-end’

Sweden to roll out Covid pass to remaining groups 'by year-end'
After previously aiming for the system to be ready 'later in Autumn', the government are now saying it will definitely be ready 'by year-end'. Photo: Johan Jeppsson/TT
The Swedish government has ordered the e-Health Agency to offer Covid-19 vaccine passes by the end of the year to people who are eligible but aren't yet able to get one.

The government on Thursday issued a mandate to Sweden’s e-Health Agency to develop a manual system for issuing Covid passes to people without a personal or coordination number, as well as to “Swedes vaccinated outside of the EU who have moved back to Sweden”.

A health ministry spokesperson had previously told The Local that they were aiming for the system to be ready “later in autumn”.

The Local has contacted the health ministry for clarification as to whether this system will also include foreign citizens who are currently living in Sweden but who got vaccinated in a country outside the EU – at 5.30pm on Thursday we were still waiting for a response.

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More than five million Covid passes have been issued in Sweden so far, but as The Local has previously reported, those without a Swedish identification number (personnummer) were unable to access their Covid pass for months after the pass was launched in July, despite being fully vaccinated.

This has led to those affected being unable to travel, alternatively being forced to quarantine or pay for expensive Covid-19 tests as they cannot prove their vaccination status. Sweden has never used the Covid passes domestically for entry to events or restaurants.

The issue was largely resolved for people with a temporary coordination number (samordningsnummer) in autumn, but not for people with the even more temporary reserve number (reservnummer), despite both groups being legally entitled to receiving the Covid pass.

A health ministry spokesperson told The Local two weeks ago that a solution for this issue would require the government to issue a formal mandate to the e-Health Agency, the authority in charge of the Covid pass system, which it has now done.

One of the major stumbling blocks has been coordinating various databases that can link people to their vaccination, so the e-Health Agency must also develop an alternative solution for data reporting which works for those without a personnummer or samordningsnummer, so that health centres are able to collect and send this information to the agency in order for them to be able to issue Covid passes.

The government said that these services must be in place by the end of the year.


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