The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 14 March 2023

FAQ about COVID-19

Please note: These FAQ:s may not be completely updated due to the rapid change in the pandemic situation, the increasing knowledge about COVID-19 and hence the continuous review of preventive measures recommended in Sweden.

Vaccination certificate


The virus and the illness

  • Listen

    In most people, COVID-19 manifests as a respiratory tract infection, and many different symptoms may be present. It is not possible to distinguish COVID-19 from other infections from only the symptoms – a laboratory test is required.

    Among the reported symptoms are:

    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Runny nose
    • Blocked nose
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Muscle and joint pain
    • Loss of smell and taste
    • Diarrhoea

    Most people get mild symptoms and can recover at home without professional medical care. The symptoms often appear gradually. Some people get a severe form of the illness, with breathing difficulties and pneumonia.

    It is very important that you stay at home if you feel ill. If you can no longer manage the illness on your own, please call 1177 for medical advice (available in English).

    Updated: 3/20/2023 1:40:43 PM

    Direct link to the question
  • Listen

    COVID-19 is mainly transmitted between people via respiratory droplets or secretions from the respiratory tract. Transmission via droplets happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes out and the droplets reach mucous tissue in someone's eyes, nose, or mouth.

    There might be places and situations where the risk of transmission is higher, even if we keep a distance from each other, e.g. in cramped areas with bad ventilation.

    The virus can be transmitted via contaminated surfaces, so-called indirect contact transmission, but the risk of getting infected via contaminated surfaces is considered to be low.

    Updated: 3/20/2023 1:40:54 PM

    Direct link to the question
  • Listen

    The incubation period, i.e. the time between getting infected and developing symptoms, seems to be between 2 and 14 days.

    For the Omicron variant, most people develop symptoms after around three days. 

    Updated: 3/20/2023 1:41:01 PM

    Direct link to the question
  • Listen

    If you have had COVID-19, you have some protection against reinfection. This means that you are less likely to become infected and seriously ill, and less likely to infect others if you are exposed to the virus again. Over time, the protection that you get after an infection wanes and there is an increased risk of getting infected again. At present, we estimate that the protection after having had COVID-19 lasts at least six months from the time of infection.

    Updated: 3/20/2023 1:41:09 PM

    Direct link to the question

Spread of infection

COVID-19 and children

  • Listen

    A child with new symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a runny nose, sore throat, fever, cough or feeling generally unwell, needs to stay home until their condition has improved. If the child has had a fever, they must have been fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to preschool. The child can return to preschool and other activities, even if they still have some respiratory symptoms. As their parent or guardian, you determine when your child can return to preschool.

    • Follow these guidelines each time new symptoms appear.
    • Contact your regular healthcare centre or 1177 if you need medical advice.
    • Other procedures may apply in conjunction with contact tracing.

    Updated: 11/30/2021 11:43:42 AM

    Direct link to the question