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Sweden’s Covid recommendations for Easter this year

Although the times of pandemic rules and regulations may seem a distant memory, Sweden's Public Health Agency still has some advice for how to avoid spreading illness over the Easter weekend.

Sweden's Covid recommendations for Easter this year
Daffodills, known as "påskliljor" or "Easter lilies" in Swedish. Photo: Fotograferna Holmberg/TT

Be aware of symptoms

Even though the spread of infection is currently low in Sweden, some degree of infection is still present in the country.

According to Britta Björkholm, head of department at the Public Health Agency, you should still be wary of any symptoms if you’re planning on meeting up with family and friends over Easter, especially if there will be any elderly people attending the celebrations.

“But you have to decide that yourself,” Björkholm told newswire TT. “It’s not as strict as previously, with even the most minimal of symptoms, rather you need to assess that yourself.”

One piece of advice the agency underlines is the recommendation to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – four doses for those over 65 and three doses for everyone else.

“If you’ve been vaccinated in line with existing recommendations, we don’t see any reason to limit travel or Easter celebrations,” she continued. The unvaccinated are, however, still subject to recommendations on avoiding large groups and indoor crowding.

Covid-19 no longer a “danger to society”

Covid-19 is, since April 1st, no longer classed as a “danger to society”, although the Public Health Agency is still monitoring the spread of infection.

“We need to continue to work with the vaccination recommendations and follow immunity in the population, see if there are more people who need a further booster when Autumn arrives,” Björkholm told newswire TT.

“No matter the variant, all who have been vaccinated have good protection against serious illness and death for a long time after vaccination. The important thing is that as many as possible get vaccinated and take the recommended booster doses.”

Visiting Sweden over Easter

Sweden’s non-EU travel ban also expired on April 1st, meaning that there are no longer any Covid-19-related restrictions on travellers wishing to visit Sweden over Easter. Travellers do not need to show a vaccine certificate or evidence of a negative test, although other restrictions such as visa regulations may apply, depending on the country of origin.

If you start showing symptoms of Covid-19 on a visit to Sweden, you should stay home – or in your hotel or accommodation – and avoid meeting others until you begin to feel better. You cannot get a free test to confirm if you have Covid-19, so you may need to ask someone without symptoms to purchase a rapid test or LFT (snabbtest or antigentest in Swedish) for you in a supermarket or local pharmacy if you wish to check if you have the virus.

You may need a negative Covid-19 test for your return journey, depending on your destination and your method of travel.

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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.”