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About the Government’s COVID-19 measures, 21 May

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Sweden is still in an extraordinary situation. Read more about the recommendations and decisions in the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs’ policy areas of public health, medical care, social care and social insurance. The date in the title indicates when the article was written.

More precise regulations for public gatherings and events

The Government has decided to introduce a more precise adjustment of the participant limit for various arrangements on 1 June, based on the risk of crowding and COVID-19 transmission.

For indoor arrangements, the general rule will be for the participant limit to remain at eight participants. If the participants receive assigned seating, up to 50 participants will be allowed. For outdoor arrangements, a maximum of 100 participants may attend unless there is assigned seating. If so, up to 500 participants will be allowed.

A special limit will be introduced for recreational races and similar sports events, where a maximum of 150 may compete simultaneously.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden will be able to decide to lower regional participant limits. County administrative boards will continue to be able to impose limitations on events in individual cases if there is an extensive spread of infection or if there is good reason to expect this.

Markets will be regulated in the same way as other trading venues rather than as a public event. Similarly, permanent funfairs will only be covered by the regulations for amusement parks and zoos, which means that they will not be subject to the participant limitations set out in the Limitations Ordinance. These activities must limit the number of visitors on the basis of the square metre area available to visitors (20 square metres/person).

Read more on the Public Health Agency of Sweden website.

The instructions to public authorities on taking additional measures to increase the percentage of employees who work from home will be extended until 15 September 2021. Public authorities are to ensure that only employees whose physical presence is necessary to conduct operations are present in the agency’s premises.

Additional SEK 150 million to urgent transports due to the pandemic

The Government has proposed allocating an additional SEK 150 million so that regions and municipalities can continue to apply for compensation for additional costs that arise for urgent transports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period for compensation will be extended until the end of the year.

Unchanged forecast for COVID-19 vaccinations

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s updated forecast of 14 May, it is still expected that all adults, and all children for whom vaccination is recommended, will be offered at least one dose of vaccine by 5 September 2021.

Additional SEK 40 million vaccine doses to Sweden in 2022 and 2023

The European Commission has negotiated a new agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech that the Government has decided to join. This means initially an additional 20 million vaccine doses to Sweden in 2022 and 2023, with an option for an additional 20 million doses during the same period.

The new agreement is extensive and includes the possibility of switching to an updated vaccine, which can be seen as insurance against possible future mutations.

Disease control measures in long-distance public transport by train and bus extended

Travel with long-distance public transport by bus and train is expected to increase during the summer months, with the risk of increased congestion and hence an increased risk of infection. The restrictions to prevent the spread of infection must therefore remain in place. The disease control measures will be extended from 1 June 2021 until 14 August 2021. An evaluation will be made on 15 June to determine whether the regulation should be repealed as of 1 July, based on the epidemiological situation and the impact on health care.

The limitation means that the operator or organiser of public transport by bus and train must ensure that the number of passengers on a vehicle trafficking routes longer than 150 kilometres does not exceed half of the vehicle’s seating capacity. 

The Government proposes extension of social insurance measures due to COVID-19

The Government has proposed the extension of several measures in the social insurance system. This includes compensation for the standard deduction for sick days for employees, compensation to self-employed individuals for the first 14 waiting days, compensation to risk groups and certain relatives of risk groups, and periods for which a doctor’s certificate is not required.

The measures will be in effect from now until 30 June 2021, and extended until 30 September 2021 in accordance with these proposals. The Government intends to present these proposals to the Riksdag in a coming amending budget.