Swedish government gives green light to expanding vaccine pass scheme

a sign for drop-in vaccination for Covid-19
Not everyone who is fully vaccinated can get a Covid vaccine pass in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
The government has granted the Public Health Agency the power to extend vaccine passes to restaurants and other venues, if it believes it is necessary.

The decision to expand Sweden’s Covid vaccine pass scheme was made at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.

Shortly after lunch, the government confirmed it had given the Public Health Agency the right to introduce regulations about vaccine passes in restaurants, culture and leisure centres, shops and shopping centres, private events and some long-distance public transport.

Takeaway and shops such as grocery stores and pharmacies will not be allowed to require vaccine passes.

People with diplomatic immunity will also be exempt from any rules to show a vaccine pass, wrote Aftonbladet, which was the first news site to break the news on Wednesday.

According to a previous proposal by the government, “private events” refers to private events held in rented venues, not gatherings in people’s homes.

Each venue will be able to decide whether to require vaccine passes or have other infection control measures in place.

There was no information available on when or even if the scheme could be expanded – the decision on whether or not to roll vaccine passes out to the above venues will be up to the Public Health Agency. The agency’s expert Britta Björkholm told a press conference on Wednesday that it had not yet made a decision.

Sweden currently uses vaccine passes at public events with more than 20 attendees, but put previous plans to extend them to venues such as restaurants were put on hold just before Christmas, with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson saying at the time that she first wanted to give more people the chance to get a booster dose of the Covid vaccine.

The wait for a vaccine pass is currently up to six weeks for those who have to apply by post, compared to minutes for those with a Swedish electronic ID who are able to apply online.

Some groups have not been able to apply for a vaccine pass at all since they were launched in July, despite being vaccinated, as The Local has reported in several articles.

People without a personal number or a coordination number who got vaccinated in Sweden should however be able to apply for a vaccine pass from January. The exact date and procedure depends on your region – read more about how to apply HERE.

Sweden is also set to launch a new service which will allow citizens and registered residents who got vaccinated overseas to apply for a vaccine pass. It is now expected to be ready by February 1st, according to the latest information The Local has received.

There is currently no estimated time frame for when foreign visitors – or foreigners who are based in Sweden but are not yet in the population register – will be able to get a Swedish vaccine pass. Some foreign vaccine passes are valid in Sweden, but not all.


Member comments

  1. What about those of us that are vaccinated but Sweden hasn’t figured out how to accept our vaccine pass because it’s not digital with a QR code… So ridiculous!!

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