SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWEDEN

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in February?

Vaccine passes for Swedish residents vaccinated abroad, the Coronavirus Commission's final report, lifted restrictions and Valentine's Day. Here's what February has in store for you.

a man checking a vaccine pass
Vaccine passes are now available for Swedish residents who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in third countries. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Vaccine passes for residents vaccinated abroad

Vaccination certificates for Swedish residents who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in third countries are available from February 1st in Stockholm, and March 1st in Malmö, Gothenburg and Luleå.

Applicants must visit a service office in person in order to apply for the certificate.

Sweden currently uses vaccine passes at public events with more than 50 attendees, as well as for travel, but the government has granted the Public Health Agency the power to extend vaccine passes to restaurants and other venues, if it believes it is necessary.

The service is available to those with a registered address in Sweden, and a digital mailbox.

See The Local’s article for more information.

Government may start lifting restrictions

Health Minister Lena Hallengren told a press conference on January 26th that Sweden may lift most of its Covid restrictions starting February 9th, if the ongoing outbreak of the Omicron variant peaks by then and the vaccination rate continues to increase.

Sweden’s restrictions currently include, among other measures, mandatory Covid vaccine passes at public events with more than 50 people, 11pm closing time for bars and restaurants, a maximum number of people per square metre in shops, and an entry ban for many non-EU arrivals. Adults are also recommended to work from home, limit their close contacts and wear a face mask on crowded public transport.

The government and health authorities have not specified which restrictions could be eased on February 9th, saying only that they will be lifted in steps – not all at once – and that a more detailed plan will be presented this week.

Last Coronavirus Commission report due

The Coronavirus Commission, or Coronakommissionen, was set up by Sweden’s government in June 2020 to investigate the country’s handling of the pandemic. Headed by the judge Mats Melin, the commission’s investigation has been divided into three parts.

The first report, published in December 2020, focused on health and elderly care during the pandemic. It criticised failings at both government and care home level. The second report, published in October 2021, criticised the measures Sweden had taken as being both inadequate and too late. 

The third report, which is due to be published on February 25th, will tie all of the commission’s findings together and give an overall assessment of what Sweden did wrong and what needs to be improved. 

Sweden’s government was accused of a cover-up earlier in January, with the commission complaining that it had still not been given the minutes or records from crucial meetings, and the Swedish Government Offices, or regeringskansliet, claiming that no such records existed. 

Read more on the accusations in our article here.

Valentine’s Day

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, or Alla hjärtans dag (“All hearts’ day”). Valentine’s Day is a relatively recent import to Sweden so it’s not always celebrated among couples, but make sure to check with your partner before you forego a card this year.

If you’re single and looking to find yourself a Swede, look no further – here are some of The Local’s guides from our archives to help you out:

School holiday dates for February

February school holiday dates or sportlov in Sweden vary depending on where in the country you live, but will consist of one week between February 14th and March 13th.

Here are the dates for 2022 in some of Sweden’s major cities:

  • Stockholm: February 28th-March 4th
  • Gothenburg: February 14th-18th
  • Malmö: February 21st-25th

Member comments

  1. “Vaccination certificates for Swedish residents who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in third countries are available….”

    ‘Third’ countries? If Sweden is the ‘first’ country, then what is a ‘second’ one? Is that the EU? The article doesn’t define or otherwise make mention of any ‘second country’, and it’s not a term I’m familiar with. I’m pretty sure that Swedish numbers don’t go 1, 3, 4, leaving out 2.

    1. I’ve been in this position before, so just to clarify. The third country usually refers to countries outside of the European Union/Economic Areas and some of the countries with which Europe has special cooperation rules, like Norway, Switzerland and some others. Those last would be the “second” countries, where presently it is not really a major issue to get a covid certificate, because many of the people who needed one could (relatively) easily go to their home country and get one.

      If you really wanna get into the weeds of it, I would redefine this order of “common rules” a bit differently. First, there would be the Swedish rules and regulations, second, I would put the Nordic countries, where there are a lot of common regulations that facilitate trade and movement between citizens and residents, third would be EU/EEA countries, fourth would be global north countries, mainly UK, US and Australia, where things are still relatively easy and finally you’d have fifth countries where my home country of Brazil would be, for which things are the most bureaucratic and difficult.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWEDEN

What changes about life in Sweden in May 2022?

May day celebrations, a possible Nato announcement, and Eurovision. This is what May has in store for people living in Sweden.

What changes about life in Sweden in May 2022?

May Day celebrations

You don’t have to wait long before the first big event of May: första maj, or May 1st is, as in many countries, the big celebration for labourers and the working classes in Sweden.

Most large cities will hold a labour day celebration on Sunday May 1st, usually organised by the local branches of the Social Democrats and Left Party.

Like many large events this year, 2022 will be the first celebration in three years, after May 1st parades were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, Social Democrat prime minister Magdalena Andersson will be taking part in Stockholm’s May 1st parade, holding a speech at Norra Latin at 15:20. The Left Party will also be celebrating, with their leader Nooshi Dadgostar holding a speech in Kundsträdgården in Sweden’s capital at 15:40.

Don’t feel left out if you can’t make it to Stockholm, though – here’s a list of all the May 1st parades organised across the country by the Left Party this year, and here’s a list of parades the Social Democrats will be attending.

Potential Nato membership

If the rumours are true, Sweden and Finland could be gearing up to announce their intention to join Nato in mid-May.

According to Iltalehti and Expressen, two tabloid newspapers from Finland and Sweden respectively, Sweden’s government has asked for Finland to delay their announcement of intention to join so that the two countries can make the announcement simultaneously, in the week commencing May 16th, when Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö is due to make a state visit to Stockholm. 

Here’s our article on the possible timeline showing the details required for Sweden to join Nato.

Eurovision

Although the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Italy this year, that doesn’t mean Swedes won’t be tuning in. The contest, which starts on May 10th and culminates in the Grand Final on May 14th, is a major event in Sweden’s entertainment industry, carrying on from the Mello hype which sweeps across the country every March.

This year, Sweden will be represented by Cornelia Jakobs’ Hold Me Closer, who bookmakers are currently expecting to come third in the contest after Ukraine and Italy, although she will have to qualify in one of two semi-finals first.

Sweden is currently set to perform in the second half of the second semi-final on May 12th.

You’ll be able to watch the semi-finals and the final live on public broadcaster SVT.

Sweden’s government sinks tax on petrol and diesel 

The tax rate on petrol and diesel is due to fall from May 1st, reducing the price at the pump by 1.8 kronor per litre.

Half a krona of the price cut was voted through parliament with the support of every party except for the Green Party. The government then in March proposed a further reduction of 1.3 kronor per litre. 

The temporary tax cut will expire automatically at the start of September. 

New law on returns from digital sales comes into force 

On May 1st, Sweden’s new law on consumer purchases comes into force, giving those who have sold digital goods more time to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with the goods.   

Those who sell digital goods are also now required to make sure that security updates are made to the software for a certain amount of time. 

Postnord will only deliver post every other day 

From May 2nd, the postal company Postnord will start to only deliver post in Sweden every other day, in a decision that has brought the company widespread criticism. 

The volume of letters, the company argues, has fallen by half since the turn of the Millenium, meaning it no longer makes economic sense to make daily deliveries. 

Sweden, the company adds, was the only Nordic country left which still had every day deliveries. 

SHOW COMMENTS