The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 13 January 2022

COVID-19 infection control measures in January

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Public Health Agency of Sweden has established a series of preventive measures. Here is a summary of the most recent measures.

Several measures against COVID-19 are introduced or strengthened in January. The measures will reduce contacts between people who normally do not meet.

The aim is to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and limit the burden on healthcare services while the work to follow the recommended vaccination programme continues.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be one of the most important measures, as well as staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

For individuals

The most important recommendations for individuals remain

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Stay alert to symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home and avoid close contact with others when suspecting COVID-19.

Limit the number of close contacts

As from 12 January, adults should limit the number of close contacts indoors by refraining from larger dinner parties and similar social gatherings.

Advice to avoid crowding in public transport remains

Adults should choose to travel outside rush hours or use other means of transport, such as walking, cycling, or travelling by car in order to avoid crowding in public transport.

Adults should wear face masks in public transport when it is not possible to keep a distance from other travellers.

This applies regardless of public transport, e.g. bus, tram, metro, train, and boat, both at long and short distances.

General advice on social distancing remains

Everybody should keep a distance from other people and avoid crowded public places, especially indoor environments. This recommendation applies to adults and children.

General guidelines on working from home remain

Everybody should:

  • work from home if possible
  • adapt working hours to enable travel at times other than during rush hour
  • keep a distance from other people in the workplace, for example during meetings, in break rooms and changing rooms.

Special recommendation for those who are not vaccinated

If you are not vaccinated, you run a higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19. To avoid getting infected, you should take special precautions. This means that you should avoid indoor environments where many people gather.

Proposal to remove testing requirement on arrival

The Public Health Agency has made a request to the Government to remove the requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 48 hours, on arrival for all foreign nationals who do not reside in Sweden. The Agency proposes that the rules that applied before 28 December 2021 be reintroduced.

Recommendation to get tested after arrival is removed

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 after arrival in Sweden, you should stay home and avoid contacts with others. You should also get tested for COVID-19 when experiencing symptoms.

The recommendation that everyone, also those without symptoms, should get tested after arrival is removed.

Recommendations when entering Sweden

Questions and answers about the entry ban to Sweden (Government Offices of Sweden)

For companies and organisations

Further regulations for public gatherings and public events indoors as from 12 January

  • For indoor events with more than 20 and a maximum of 50 participants, all participants must be seated, groups must be limited to a maximum of 8 people, and a distance of one metre must be kept between parties. Vaccination certificates can be used.
  • For indoor events with more than 50 participants, vaccination certificates must be used, together with assigned seats, and a distance of one meter must be kept between parties.

Special instructions apply to religious events and are outlined in the current regulations.

Furthermore, there are additional regulations on infection control measures that must be taken. These include providing handwashing facilities and information about how to avoid the spread of infection.

Proposal on limitation of the number of participants at public gatherings and public events

The Public Health Agency has on 10 January made a request to the Government to limit the number of participants at public gatherings and events to 500 people. 

Further infection control measures for venues serving food and drink

As from 12 January, the Public Health Agency of Sweden introduces new regulations for venues serving food and drink. These include closing time at 23.00, which means that the venue has to be empty at 23.00. The last serving of alcohol can be done at 22.30. The venue can open again at 05.00.

It is possible to keep open to sell takeaway food and drink after 23.00. At such sales the visitors must be able to keep a distance of at least one metre between each other.

The changes apply to all venues serving food and drink regardless of whether they have a licence to serve alcohol or not.

The changes also mean that the size of parties is limited to 8 people.

The general guidelines for venues serving food and drink on avoiding crowding and enabling individuals to keep a distance from each other remain. The regulations on only seated customers allowed at indoor cafés, restaurants and bars also remain. There must be at least one meter between each party.

All people attending indoor public gatherings and events at a venue serving food and drink must be seated.

Furthermore, there are additional regulations on infection control measures that must be taken. These include providing handwashing facilities and information about how to avoid the spread of infection.

Proposal for limited number of participants when letting venues for private parties

The Public Health Agency has on 10 January made a request to the Government to limit the number of participants to 20 at private gatherings. This includes those who professionally use or let venues for events or other similar private gatherings.

There are certain exceptions for venues or areas used for funeral ceremonies.

General guidelines for employers remain

All workplaces should adopt measures to make sure that their employees are able to follow these regulations and general guidelines. Such measures may include:

  • making it easier for employees to get vaccinated, and informing them of the importance of staying home if they have symptoms
  • facilitating work from home if possible
  • enabling social distancing in the workplace, for example during meetings, in the break rooms and changing rooms, and avoiding larger indoor gatherings with many participants.

Culture, sport and leisure

Culture, sport and leisure clubs and associations should refrain from organising or participating in camps, events or other larger indoor activities with participants who do not usually meet with each other. Individual activities, matches and one-day competitions such as leagues or similar may be held.

These general guidelines do not apply to professional sports.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden believes that it is important to continue to provide everyday activities for children and young people to benefit their physical and mental health. These include training, exercises, and similar meetings at an individual association.

COVID-19 information for providers of leisure activities for children and young people (in Swedish)

Culture and leisure establishments

These establishments include gyms, sports facilities, swimming baths, museums, art galleries, amusement parks, zoos, theme parks and other similar establishments open to the public.

The general guidelines for culture and leisure establishments remain. These guidelines aim to limit crowding and enable social distancing.

The regulations for culture and leisure establishments remain and include calculating the maximum number of visitors permissible based on the requirement of 10 square metresper person indoors. However, teaching activities as outlined in the Education Act and activities aimed at children and young people born in 2002 or later are not affected.

There are additional regulations on infection control measures that must be taken, regardless of the activity or organisation. These include providing handwashing facilities and information about how to avoid the spread of infection.

Fairs

As from 12 January, vaccination certificates must be used at fairs indoors with more than 50 participants.

Organisers must determine the maximum number of visitors and exhibitors based on the requirement of 10 square metres per person.

There are additional regulations on infection control measures that must be taken. These include providing handwashing facilities and information about how to avoid the spread of infection.

Furthermore, the Public Health Agency has made a request to the Government to limit the number of participants at fairs to 500 people.

Indoor trading establishments and markets

There are general guidelines for trading establishments to limit crowding and enable social distancing. Trading establishments must determine the maximum number of visitors based on the requirement of 10 square metres per person.

Furthermore, all trading establishments must follow the additional regulations on infection control. These include providing handwashing facilities and information about how to avoid the spread of infection.

Examples of trading establishments include shopping centres, department stores, shops and service facilities open to the public. Shopping centres do not need to follow the requirement of 10 square metresper person.

Public transport operators

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has established general guidelines to enable public transport operators to continue to offer a full service.

Those who operate long-distance public transport with bus or train (over 150 km) must take infection control measures. They also have to make sure that all passengers have an assigned seat or sleeping place.