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About the Government’s COVID-19 measures, 6 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.

The Swedish eHealth Agency will develop a service for issuing proof of vaccination following vaccination against Covid-19

On 23 April, the Swedish Government tasked the Swedish eHealth Agency with developing a service for issuing proof of vaccination to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. The aim of the remit is that an infrastructure should be in place by 1 June to allow individuals who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Sweden and who have a Swedish e-ID to request proof of vaccination that meets the EU’s specifications. It is expected that the service will be ready for use by 1 July when the statutory conditions for using the service will be in place in both Sweden and the EU.

The Government also tasked the Public Health Agency of Sweden on 23 April with developing a service to transfer information held in the national vaccination register about administered Covid-19 vaccines to the Swedish eHealth Agency.

The remit will be reported on by 15 June 2023.

Bill circulated for comment on exemptions in health insurance in the case of deferred care

One of the Government’s measures during the pandemic is that the assessment of working capacity against regular work in health insurance after day 180 and day 365 of the sickness period can be deferred when care or rehabilitation has been deferred due to the pandemic. The reason for this is to avoid people losing their financial security. Since uncertainty remains about the course of the pandemic and its long-term impact on waiting lists and waiting times, a new bill is now being circulated for comment. The proposal involves extending the temporary exemption if necessary from 1 January 2022 until 31 December 2022.

Sweden borrows 200 000 vaccine doses from Norway

Sweden and Norway reached an agreement on borrowing vaccines on 22 April. Norway will lend 200 000 doses manufactured by AstraZeneca to Sweden. Since March, Norway has chosen to pause the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in anticipation of an expert group’s investigation. During this pause, Norway has built up a stock of AstraZeneca vaccines. In order that vaccines which can save lives should not be stored unnecessarily, Norway has offered to lend doses to Sweden while awaiting the expert group’s statement. The vaccine can start to be used in Sweden during the last week of April. Sweden will return the same number of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Norway later on.

Guidance ahead of adapting restrictions

On 29 April, the Government tasked the Public Health Agency of Sweden with further developing and concretising under which circumstances restrictions and infection control measures should apply within society. This guidance will form the basis for the Government’s work to draw up a national plan for how and when restrictions at national level can be gradually adapted, eased or discontinued. The Agency will report on this remit no later than 12 May.

Adjusted forecast for vaccination against Covid-19

On 30 April, the Public Health Agency of Sweden announced its updated forecast, whereby all adults and those children for whom vaccination is recommended will have been offered at least one dose of a vaccine by 5 September. The main reason for adjusting the previous forecast is that the Agency has recommended a continued pause in using the Janssen vaccine for the entire population. 

Proposal regarding public gatherings and events is circulated for comment

The Government aims to be able to increasingly ease restrictions in the event of an improved epidemiological situation and when the burden placed on healthcare permits such an easing. On 30 April, a proposal on new participant restrictions at events such as sporting, leisure and cultural activities was circulated for comment. One requirement for the proposal to enter into force is that the infection situation and the healthcare situation permit this. The Government emphasises that this proposal should not be seen as an easing of the existing restrictions.

For indoor events, it is recommended that the maximum number of participants should generally remain at eight. If participants are allocated seats, it is recommended that the maximum number of participants should be 50. A maximum of 100 participants is recommended for outdoor events where participants are not allocated seats, or a maximum of 500 participants for outdoor events with seated participants. It is proposed that a special limitation should be introduced for running races and similar sports competitions, with a maximum of 150 athletes participating at a time.