There is a non-essential travel ban to Sweden from countries outside the EU until 31 August. The ban excludes Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to most EU countries until 15 July, and to countries outside the EU, EEA or Schengen until 31 August. Sweden is now open for travels to Belgium, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Hungary, as well as San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican. For more information on how the coronavirus/Covid-19 is affecting Sweden, please go to krisinformation.se, official emergency information from Swedish authorities.

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Sweden and corona – in brief

Countries choose different approaches to fight the coronavirus and limit the spread of Covid-19. Here’s a brief summary of how Sweden handles the pandemic.

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From left, Swedish Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren and Director-General of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Johan Carlson.
Photo: Magnus Sandberg/Aftonbladet

Sweden and corona – in brief

Countries choose different approaches to fight the coronavirus and limit the spread of Covid-19. Here’s a brief summary of how Sweden handles the pandemic.

Expert advice, government decisions

The Swedish government has presented many different measures in several areas to fight the coronavirus. Independent expert government agencies make recommendations, the government makes decisions. Each decision is based on what’s deemed best for the nation and the population of Sweden. The decisions aim to:

  • limit the spread of infection in the country
  • ensure healthcare resources are available
  • limit the impact on critical services
  • mitigate the effects on people and businesses
  • ease concern, for example by providing information.

Sweden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is about taking the right measures at the right time, because different measures are effective at different points in time. The country’s response is also partly based on voluntary action – for example: the authorities recommend people with symptoms and over-70s to stay home rather than enforce a nationwide lockdown.

The principle of responsibility

In Sweden, crisis management is built on the principle of responsibility. This means that the government agency responsible for a particular matter under normal circumstances is also responsible for that matter in a crisis situation.

In Sweden, independent expert government agencies give the government advice about which measures are needed to limit the spread of Covid-19 and combat the effects of the spread of infection in the community. It is then up to the government to make the decisions. These agencies can also make certain independent decisions concerning infection control.

Trust in government agencies

In Swedish society there is, in general, a relatively strong trust in government agencies. The general public and private actors tend to follow the advice of the responsible agencies. In a study conducted in the last week of March, two-thirds of Swedes said they had stopped travelling, meeting people and using public transport – an indication that people follow the recommendations of government agencies.

Students in Sweden from 16 and up have been studying from home since 18 March, as recommended by the authorities. Schools for younger children are still open.

Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Schools

Swedish preschools and schools for 6- to 16-year-olds are still open, with a few exceptions. The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) has made the assessment that closing all schools in Sweden would not be a meaningful measure at present. This is based on an analysis of the current situation in Sweden and possible consequences for the entire society.

There are no scientific studies showing that closing the schools would have any major impact. Nor is there any data indicating any significant spread of Covid-19 in schools anywhere in the world.

The government may still decide to close down preschools and schools at a later stage. In such a case, a new law has been passed that makes sure that there is childcare available for children whose parents have vital public functions, such as in healthcare or the police force.

Useful links

Last updated: 7 April 2020

Sweden.se

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