Several new measures against covid-19 to be introduced January 12
The rate of infection in Sweden increased dramatically over Christmas and New Year. The covid-19 vaccinations are providing very good protection against severe illness and death. However, the new omicron variant has proved very contagious, even to those who are double vaccinated. Therefore, several new measures are being put in place to reduce contact among the population.
Certain measures will be implemented as of 12 January, while others will require governmental decision and, for these, the Swedish Public Health Agency has submitted a formal request to government.
Currently, the measures are predicted to continue until the middle of February, but they will be reassessed every fortnight.
As of 12 January, the following will apply:
Public gatherings and events indoors
Gatherings exceeding 20 people are only permitted for seated participants, and these participants must be divided into groups of no more than 8 people. A distance of at least one meter must be kept between the groups. Exceptions exist for religious ceremonies requiring standing participants. Gatherings exceeding 50 participants require vaccination passes in addition to other rules.
Trade fairs with more than 50 participants require vaccination passes. Moreover, at least 10 sqm per person is required.
Venues serving food and drink
Groups may not exceed 8 people. Guests must be seated only, with no less than one meter between the groups. Venues must close no later than 11 pm.
Advice to adults
All adults are requested to limit their number of indoor contacts by refraining from participating in big dinner parties, parties, and similar events. Previous public advice of avoiding crowds, keeping your distance, working from home, and traveling during non-peak hours remain.
Indoor cup competitions and camps
The advisory against these is extended with reconsideration on 31 January. However, practices and competitions in normal series games may be conducted with risk-reducing measures.
Adult education and higher education institutions
Partially remote learning is recommended for higher education institutions, to create distance inside the lecture rooms, but will not apply as a fulltime measure. Practical classes, such as examinations, and other adult education should be continued with risk-reducing measures in place.
The Swedish Public Health Agency also wishes for the government to rule on the following measures:
Reduced to 20 people. Refers to the rental of venues.
Indoor public gatherings, events and trade fairs
No more than 500 people, vaccination passes must be shown.
The requirement for foreign citizens over 12 years of age to show a negative covid test up to 48 hours old for inbound travel to Sweden is being removed, but the covid passport is being reintroduced for inbound travel for those 18 or above.
The following advice and recommendations apply as before:
- Everyone should keep their distance avoid crowded environments.
- Everyone should work from home if work allows for this. Only employees who need to be on site should do so.
- Only seated passengers on long distance public transport.
- Face masks are recommended on public transport if it is not possible to keep a distance from others.
- Shopping centres As previously, a requirement of at least 10 sqm per person applies, and to avoid congestion.
- Places with cultural and leisure activities Requirement of 10 square metres per person applies, and to avoid congestion. There are exceptions for businesses that are focused on children and young people, for example sports practice and competitions.
- The overriding principle is still in-person education for primary school, other obligatory types of school, high school and special high school. Measures should be taken, such as being outdoors as much as possible, avoiding congregating in large groups indoors, and where possible avoiding mixing different classes.