IN PICTURES: What it looked like when Sweden ended Covid restrictions

Sweden dropped most of its Covid restrictions on February 9th and stopped offering free tests to the general public. Here's the day in pictures.

IN PICTURES: What it looked like when Sweden ended Covid restrictions
Many Malmö residents hit the dance floor at the KB nightclub when it opened at one minute past midnight on February 9th. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The owner of a Stadsmissionen second-hand store in Liljeholmen, southern Stockholm, removes a sign stating a maximum of 50 customers allowed. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

A shop owner in Malmö, southern Sweden, removing tape from the floor after rules that stated shops had to make sure customers could keep a distance were scrapped. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A long queue outside Malmö nightclub KB in the early hours of Wednesday. Bars and restaurants now no longer have to close at 11pm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Unvaccinated people are still urged to avoid crowds, but vaccinated people only have to stay home if they have Covid-19 symptoms. Another picture from the KB nightclub in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Things were fairly calm at Stockholm’s clubbing district Stureplan at around midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Sweden now no longer offers free PCR tests to the general public, only to staff and patients in the healthcare and elderly care sectors. Here’s a picture of some of the last self-test kits being handed in in Malmö on February 8th. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

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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.