On Tuesday, November 3, Swedish authorities introduced new restrictions on cafes and restaurants and increased the number of areas covered by stricter measures to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Diners will be limited to eight people per table in cafes and restaurants. The regions of Halland, Örebro, and Jönköping will also face tighter restrictions, similar to those already in place in five other regions. Measures vary from region to region, but include avoiding public transport and non-essential shopping. While only eight of Sweden's 21 regions are now under enhanced restrictions, the areas covered are among the most populous and affect around 70 percent of the population. Full details on the different measures in the various regions can be found here.
Public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited and people are encouraged to work from home when possible. However, face masks are not required in public areas and there are currently no domestic travel restrictions in place.
Authorities announced on Thursday, October 29, that the current ban on the entry of non-EU residents, originally due to end on October 31, has been extended until December 22 . Exemptions to the ban remain in place, including travelers from Australia, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. A full list of exemptions can be found here.
As of Wednesday, November 4, health authorities have confirmed a total of 134,532 COVID-19 cases with 5969 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by
local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately.
Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are
likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers
are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival
to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due
to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine
upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.