Sweden rolling out Covid passes next month — Analysis

In light of rising European infection rates, the Swedish government announced that it will introduce Covid-19 mandatory passes beginning next month. To be able to participate in indoor events that have more than 100 people, the passes must be obtained.

Lena Hallengren, Health Minister, announced Wednesday that mandatory coronavirus vaccinations will be introduced.

Citing the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases across Europe – which has not hit the country itself yet – the minister stressed the need to be ready for the new wave of infections, projected to reach Sweden mid-December.

“The spread is increasing in Europe. We haven’t seen it yet in Sweden, but we are not isolated,”Hallengren spoke at a press conference. “We need to be able to use vaccination certificates.”

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Starting from December 1, the documents confirming a person’s vaccination status will be a requirement to enter any indoor event with 100 or more people in attendance. Sweden has high rates of vaccination. 85% of the country’s population over 16 have received at least one dose from Covid-19. Public health data show that 81% of those vaccinated have had at least two doses.

Earlier in the day, the country’s health authorities backtracked on a highly controversial decision to stop testing fully vaccinated people who showed symptoms of Covid. In October, the recommendation was made and there was a 35% drop in Covid-19 testing.

“The Public Health Agency has decided to recommend that the regions offer testing to everyone who is 6 years and older who gets symptoms that may be COVID-19,”The statement was made by the Health Authority.

Sweden chose to not impose mass lockdowns, a decision that was contrary to the European trend. The country relied heavily on social distancing and voluntary measures, and had several times more deaths per capita than Nordic countries. However, it fared well compared to many European nations, with just 1.18million cases and 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the outbreak.

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