About the Government’s COVID-19 measures, 23 September

Published

Read more about the Government’s COVID-19 measures 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.

Restrictions are being lifted but the COVID-19 Act and the Act on Temporary Infection Control Measures at Restaurants and Bars have been extended

Further restrictions are being lifted in connection with implementing Stage 4 of the Government's plan for the removal of restrictions. Among other things, the Government has decided to remove the participant limit for general gatherings, public events and private gatherings from 29 September 2021.

Parliament has extended the COVID-19 Act and the Act on Temporary Infection Control Measures at Restaurants and Bars up to and including 31 January 2022 in order to continue to have continued readiness to deal with the pandemic.

The following are being removed as we enter Stage 4:

  • Participant limit for general gatherings and public events.
  • Participant limit for private gatherings in, for example, rented premises.
  • The Public Health Agency of Sweden's regulations on infection control measures (including distance between groups at restaurants and bars), announced with the support of the COVID-19 Act and the Act on Temporary Infection Control Measures at Restaurants and Bars, have been repealed.
  • The Public Health Agency of Sweden's advice to work from home and the government assignment to government agencies for more people to work from home have been withdrawn.

The following apply after Stage 4 has been implemented:

  • General requirements on operators regarding infection control measures in accordance with the COVID-19 Act, the Act on Temporary Infection Control Measures at Restaurants and Bars, and the Restrictions Ordinance, will remain in force. This involves, for example, that the spaces at the disposal of the organiser should be arranged in a way that is safe from an infection control point of view.
  • People with symptoms should remain at home and test themselves, and employers should then facilitate their working from home
  • There are special recommendations for people who are not vaccinated on taking precautions in order to avoid becoming infected and spreading the COVID-19 disease. This involves continuing to keep their distance from other people, and in particular to avoid close contact with people in risk groups and people who are 70 years of age and older. In accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act, a great responsibility lies with the individual not to spread communicable diseases.
     

Extension of the scheme for compensation when a school or preschool closes

The Government has decided to extend the regulation on temporary parental allowance due to the COVID-19 disease to the end of January 2022. This means that one parent can receive temporary parental allowance if the parent needs to be absent from paid work in order to care for a child when, for example, a preschool or school is closed in certain situations associated with the COVID-19 disease. The extension also includes the scheme for a certain preventive temporary parental allowance for parents of certain children who have recently become seriously ill and who need to be protected from infection by COVID-19.

Temporary measures in social insurance

The Government has taken several temporary measures in social insurance due to COVID-19. Compensation to employers for sick pay costs, compensation for qualifying deductions, and compensation to self-employed for qualifying days, deferred requirements for medical certificates from day 8 to day 15 during a period of illness, and compensation to people who belong to a risk group and relatives to risk groups, are valid up to and including 30 September. These measures are being brought to an end due to the fact that 70 per cent of the population have been vaccinated.

Continued readiness to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic

The Government is proposing major initiatives in the Budget Bill for 2022 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic because it is still a major challenge in Sweden as well as globally. Among other things, additional funding is proposed for vaccines and vaccinations, large-scale contact tracing and testing, as well as strengthening the capacity of public authorities that have key tasks in the management of the pandemic. The Government is also proposing extended exemption in health insurance for deferred care and rehabilitation, and to extend the scheme for compensation when a school or preschool closes due to the pandemic.

Strengthened support in order to increase vaccination coverage

On 15 September, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Government presented an additional agreement regarding initiatives to increase vaccination coverage. The aim is that the vaccination coverage in Sweden should be as high and as evenly distributed as possible.

Vaccination certificate as infection control measure

On 10 September, the Government Offices proposed how vaccination certificates could be used as an infection control measure in the event of a worsened infection situation.

Proposal for state compensation for personal injury caused by vaccination against COVID-19

The Government is proposing a new law on state compensation for personal injury caused by an approved vaccine against the COVID-19 disease. The purpose of the law is to ensure that anyone who has suffered an injury caused by vaccination against COVID-19 should receive compensation equivalent to other compensation available for injury from pharmaceutical products.

The National Board of Health and Welfare shall conduct a review of the conditions for regional infection control.

The National Board of Health and Welfare has been tasked by the Government to conduct a review of the conditions for and capacity of the regional infection control units, and medical officers for communicable disease control, to carry out their assignments. The regional infection control units and medical officers for communicable disease control have a central role in Swedish infection control and have responsibility for the infection control efforts in the areas in which they operate.

Investigation into how an improved legal basis can be created in order to manage future pandemics or epidemics.

A special investigator shall review the Communicable Diseases Act and analyse the need for new provisions for future pandemics. The investigator shall also investigate issues on disease carrier allowance, infection control for certain groups in the social services, and the scope of the Act on the Register of National Vaccination Programmes, and more.

Regional differences in health and social care of patients with the post COVID-19 condition shall be identified.

The Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis has been tasked to identify any regional differences in health and social care of patients with remaining or late symptoms as a result of COVID-19 infection, so-called post COVID-19 condition. A key issue is how the different needs of patients are met with the starting point that healthcare should be equal throughout Sweden.

The Swedish eHealth Agency shall investigate whether more vaccinated groups can be issued with a vaccination certificate

The Swedish eHealth Agency has been tasked by the Government to investigate the possibility of a so-called manual procedure for issuing vaccination certificates in cases where normal procedures do not work. For example, for Swedes who were vaccinated in third countries but have moved back to Sweden or are staying here for a long time.

The Government has signed more vaccine agreements

The Government has decided to further secure the long-term availability of vaccines against COVID-19 by entering into pre-purchase agreements of vaccine doses with manufacturers NovaVax and Sanofi. In total, it involves up to 7.1 million doses that, subject to approval, are expected to be primarily delivered during 2022-2023.