Majority of COVID-19 restrictions to be removed on 9 February 2022
The phasing out of measures in response to COVID-19 will begin on 9 February 2022. As of that date, measures such as the participant limit for public gatherings and events and the possibility to demand vaccination certificates upon entry will be removed. The same will apply to other restrictions, such as the requirement of social distancing between groups and cap on group sizes.
The Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have made the assessment that the situation is sufficiently stable to begin phasing out infection control measures. The omicron variant does not lead to such severe illness as previous variants, the pressure on intensive care and other hospital services has not increased in line with widespread transmission of the variant, and the vast majority of at-risk people have now received a booster vaccination.
Vaccination is the single most important weapon in the fight against COVID-19. Everyone aged over 12 is still recommended to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This is the best way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19.
The infection control measures will be phased out in two stages: stage 1 will come into force on 9 February, and stage 2 is due to begin on 1 April 2022.
Restrictions to be lifted as of 9 February 2022
- Public gatherings and public events: removal of participant limits, requirement of social distancing between groups and maximum group sizes and possibility to demand vaccination certificates upon entry.
- Eating and drinking establishments: removal of maximum group sizes, social distancing requirements and obligatory closing times.
- Trade fairs: removal of participant limits, minimum square metres per person and possibility to demand vaccine certificates upon entry.
- Shopping centres and venues for cultural and recreational activities: removal of minimum square metres per person.
- Long-distance public transport: removal of requirement for all passengers to be seated and to wear face masks at busy times or when it is not possible to maintain safe distances.
- Private gatherings in hired premises, etc.: removal of participant limits.
- Tournaments, competitions and other major indoor activities: removal of advice against organising such events.
- Social gatherings: removal of advice to avoid major social gatherings.
- The participant limits will be removed by government decision, and the Public Health Agency of Sweden has decided to rescind its regulations linked to the act on restrictions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and the temporary act on communicable disease control measures at eating and drinking establishments as of 9 February 2022.
On 1 April, the remaining official recommendations will be removed or adapted to the rate of transmission, burden on health care services and vaccination rates at that time. After that, the vaccination recommendation will remain in place, along with specific recommendations for health service and care environments.
Public Health Agency of Sweden requests reclassification of COVID-19
The Public Health Agency of Sweden will today submit a request to the Government to examine the issue of COVID-19 remaining a disease that must be reported, but that is not classified as a danger to society or a threat to public health.
The Agency’s request will be rapidly examined in the Government Offices. The Government will then submit proposals for the consideration of the Riksdag. Under the Communicable Diseases Act, legislation is required for this reclassification.
The Government intends submit a government bill proposing that the act on restrictions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and the temporary act on communicable disease control measures at eating and drinking establishments be repealed. The Government has already initiated consultation on a proposal that these acts be repealed at the end of March this year.