Information regarding COVID-19 in Sweden
31 Mar 2020
There is an ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Government and the Government Offices are following developments carefully and are in continuous contact with the responsible authorities.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden
has a national responsibility for public health issues and works to ensure good public health. The agency also works to ensure that the population is protected against communicable diseases and other health threats.
One important mission of the Public Health Agency is to disseminate scientifically based knowledge that prevents ill-health and disease and supports society in the work against health threats. The Public Health Agency closely monitors the course of events when it comes to COVID-19, conducts microbiological analyses, and assesses risks and developments of the outbreak. Health care, regional infectious disease control units and other stakeholders are informed about the current situation and the Agency also decides what relevant measures to take. There is close collaboration with other govenment agencies (e.g. the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and the National Board of Health and Welfare), the regional infectious disease control units, as well as with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).Please refer to their FAQs about COVID-19, including questions about quarantine etc. You can find it here.
TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS TO SWEDEN
: In response to the European Council’s and the European Commission’s call for travel restrictions, the Government decided on the 18 of March to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the spread of virus.
The decision took effect on 19 March and initially applies for 30 days. This is an exceptional measure that will not apply for longer than necessary.
Not all travel to Sweden is stopped. Swedish citizens and other people who are resident in Sweden are able to return to their homes. Nor does the entry ban apply to people who have particularly important grounds for travelling to Sweden. This includes diplomats, people in need of international protection and people who are to carry out essential functions in Sweden, such as health care professionals and people transporting goods to Sweden.
The entry ban applies to all foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from a country outside the EEA or from Switzerland and UK.
Read more: Press release from the Ministry of Justice, including link to Q&A
For more information about the entry ban, members of the public can telephone the Swedish Police on 11414 (from outside Sweden +46 77 114 14 00) and ask to be connected to the National Communications Department.
CURRENT EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SITUATION IN SWEDENFollow the current situation here
(in Swedish only).
RELEVANT MEASURES TAKEN BY SWEDISH AUTHORITIES
• Schools and preschools in Sweden:
On Tuesday, 17 March, the Public Health Agency of Sweden announced that it recommends that upper secondary school instruction should not take place in school premises, but should rather be conducted via online or distance learning. Corresponding recommendations also apply to vocational higher education, adult education and higher education institutions. This means that students should undertake distance learning at home and not be in school.
Compulsory school and preschools are not covered by the recommendation at the present time, since the consequences of closing these would be huge. One reason for not closing compulsory schools is that doing so may force parents of young children to stay at home from work. Should it become necessary to close compulsory schools, care must be ensured for the children of people who, for example, carry out vital public functions, such as healthcare workers, so that these parents do not have to stay at home. The Government is fast-tracking temporary legislation to handle a situation in which compulsory schools also close. The legislation now being prepared will provide a possibility for municipalities to offer childcare, preschool and after-school care to certain professional groups. This possibility is not available under current legislation. Read more about this here
(in Swedish only).
GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTING SEK 40 MILLION TO THE WHO EMERGENCY FUND
In light of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, the Government has decided to contribute SEK 40 million to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Contingency Fund for Emergencies. Read the press release in English here