KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in September?

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KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in September?
Will Sweden lift coronavirus restrictions in September? Photo: Erik Simander/TT

Budget, Brexit and coronavirus restrictions. Here's a rundown of seven key things to be aware of in Sweden in September.


When will Sweden lift travel restrictions?

Probably not in September. Sweden has extended its current non-EU entry ban until October 31st. The ban has been in place since March last year, and was introduced in line with EU recommendations at the time to curb the spread of coronavirus across the union. On September 2nd, Sweden announced that it would add another six countries to the entry ban, including the United States.

There are several exemptions to the ban, including if you live in Sweden or the EU, if you’re travelling for certain purposes such as urgent family reasons and vital work, or if you’re travelling from certain low-infection countries which are decided at the EU level. There are also exemptions for athletes and esports players taking part in elite competitions.


Will Sweden lift more Covid restrictions?

The next step of the Swedish government's five-step plan for easing pandemic restrictions is set to get under way in September according to the original time plan, although a date has yet to be confirmed. If that step goes ahead, the limit on the number of people allowed at public and private events will be removed, and the remaining rules for restaurants and bars will also be removed entirely, including indoor areas.

It is however not yet clear whether these will actually go ahead now or not. Neighbouring Denmark, where the 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people is currently higher than in Sweden, announced last week that it would end all its pandemic restrictions on September 10th. The Swedish Public Health Agency said last week that now was not the time to lift restrictions in Sweden, where new cases are on the increase, but that doesn't automatically mean that it could not happen at some point in September. It will likely also depend on how many new cases lead to serious illness, and the vaccination rate (more than 80 percent of Sweden's adults have had at least one Covid-19 jab).

Time to start paying off your mortgage again

During the coronavirus crisis, Swedish banks have been offering customers the chance to hold off on amortising their mortgage, meaning that (if you chose to avail yourself of this) you only had to pay interest and not pay off the loan itself. This ends on September 1st. 

It will end automatically, so you don't need to do anything other than preparing for your bill to suddenly going up. But it may be a good time to have a look at your finances and see whether you're getting the best deal you could out of your mortgage. Here's The Local's guide.


Sweden's new budget

The Swedish government will present its autumn budget to parliament on September 20th. It contains investments to the tune of 74 billion kronor (approximately $8.6 billion), including welfare measures, green investments and efforts to get more people into work. “I’m seeing a lot of potential in the Swedish economy. I want us to emerge stronger out of this crisis," said Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The budget could spark another conflict in a divided parliament, so it is not completely beyond the realms of possibility that Sweden’s heading for another political crisis, just months after it averted the last one. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has previously said that he will resign if his budget is not approved, but then again he has already announced his departure in November, budget or no budget.

SAS routes to reopen

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will reopen its Arlanda-Sundsvall route in September, which means that it will again be serving all its domestic routes in Sweden and Norway after halting some of them during the pandemic. SAS said it would also resume flights to a number of cities this autumn, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Krakow and Prague.

National ID cards no longer valid for travel to UK

New travel rules to UK from September 30th also marks the day that national ID cards will no longer be accepted for travel into the UK. So if you are travelling to the UK with a Swedish partner, friend or relative, remind them that they will need a passport after this date.

Speaking of the UK...

... if you're a Brit in Sweden and haven't yet secured your stay here, now's the time to do so. September 30th is the deadline for applying for post-Brexit residence status.


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