Join The Local France on Facebook for a Live Q&A on France’s plan to end lockdown
The French government has released a detailed plan on how it will end the strict lockdown from May 11th. But many questions remain. Join our team on our Facebook page for a live Q&A where we'll be answering your questions as best we can.
Published: 29 April 2020 13:00 CEST
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End of the pandemic? What the expiry of Sweden’s Covid laws really means
With the expiry of Sweden's two temporary Covid-19 laws, the downgrading of the virus's threat classification, and the end of the last travel restrictions, April, officially at least, marks the end of the pandemic. We explain what it means.
Published: 1 April 2022 13:07 CEST
What are the two laws which expire on April 1st?
Sweden’s parliament voted last week to let the two temporary laws put in place to battle the Covid-19 pandemic expire on April 1st.
The first law is the so-called Covid-19 law, or “the law on special restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 illness”, which was used during the pandemic to temporarily empower the authorities to limit the number of visitors to shops, gyms, and sports facilities. It also gave the government power to limit the number of people who could gather in public places like parks and beaches.
The second law was the “law on temporary restrictions at serving places”. This gave the authorities, among other things, the power to limit opening times, and force bars and restaurants to only serve seated customers.
What impact will their expiry have?
The immediate impact on life in Sweden will be close to zero, as the restrictions imposed on the back of these two laws were lifted months ago. But it does means that if the government does end up wanting to bring back these infection control measures, it will have to pass new versions of the laws before doing so.
How is the classification of Covid-19 changing?
The government decided at the start of February that it would stop classifying Covid-19 both as a “critical threat to society” and “a disease that’s dangerous to the public” on April 1st.
These classifications empowered the government under the infectious diseases law that existed in Sweden before the pandemic to impose health checks on inbound passengers, place people in quarantine, and ban people from entering certain areas, among other measures.
What impact will this change have?
Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a disease that’s dangerous to the public”, or an allmänfarlig sjukdom, people who suspect they have caught the virus, are no longer expected to visit a doctor or get tested, and they cannot be ordered to get tested by a court on the recommendation of an infectious diseases doctor. People with the virus can also no longer be required to aid with contact tracing or to go into quarantine.
Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a critical threat to society”, or samhällsfarlig, the government can no longer order health checks at border posts, quarantine, or ban people from certain areas.
The end of Sweden’s last remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions
Sweden’s last remaining travel restriction, the entry ban for non-EU arrivals, expired on March 31st. This means that from April 1st, Sweden’s travel rules return to how they were before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
No one will be required to show a vaccination or test certificate to enter the country, and no one will be barred from entering the country because their home country or departure country is not deemed to have a sufficiently good vaccination program or infection control measures.