The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 7 May 2021

How to protect yourself and others from being infected by COVID-19

Here we summarise the most important advice on how you as a private individual can prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Keep your distance

Keep your distance from other people, both indoors and outdoors, and avoid crowded environments.

This recommendation applies in all contexts and means, for example, that you should shop alone, avoid social gatherings outside your immediate circle, work from home and avoid public transport if you do not need to travel.

Stay at home and get tested even when you have only mild symptoms

Children and adults who feel unwell must stay at home from work, school, preschool and other activities. This applies even if your symptoms are only mild. You must also get tested and avoid contact with others.

Work from home

The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that everyone who can work from home should do so. Talk to your employer about the opportunities to work from home. It is important that the employer assumes responsibility for the work environment even when an employee is working at home.

Socialise within a smaller circle, avoid close contacts

The more people you mix with, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19 and passing on the infection. Limit your close contacts by only socialising with those you live with or with a small number of friends or relatives outside the household.

Socialise outdoors if possible and keep as much distance as possible between yourselves.

Get vaccinated as soon as you have the opportunity

Vaccination reduces the risk of falling seriously ill or dying of COVID-19. Everyone over the age of 18 will be offered a vaccine. Information about the vaccination (in Swedish) is available on the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s website. Getting vaccinated is voluntary, but the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that if you can, you should accept the vaccination. You can read about how vaccination is being organised just where you live at

Wash your hands regularly

Infectious agents are easily attracted to our hands. They can be passed on when you hold someone’s hand, for example. So wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, for at least 20 seconds.

Always wash your hands when you:

  • get home or arrive at work
  • have been out
  • before a meal
  • when handling food
  • after visiting the toilet.

Hand sanitiser (or equivalent) can be an alternative if you are unable to use soap and water.

You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth in order to avoid infectious agents reaching your mucous membranes. It is also important to cough and sneeze into your elbow or a paper handkerchief.

Always act COVID-smart

You are obliged to do whatever you can to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. You should think about how you can avoid getting infected, how to keep your distance and how you can avoid infecting others. You must show consideration for your fellow human beings. This is particularly important when it comes to people in risk groups.