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Sweden to issue vaccine passports, reconsider rules

The Swedish government has revealed plans to launch a digital coronavirus vaccine passport by this summer, following similar announcements from Denmark and Poland.

During a press conference on Thursday (4 February), Sweden’s minister for energy and digital development, Anders Ygeman, said: “When Sweden and countries around us start to open up our societies again, vaccination certificates are likely to be required for travel and possibly for taking part in other activities.

“[The digital infrastructure] will make the vaccination certificate more secure, simple and international,” he says.

The Swedish government is aiming is to have the digital vaccine passport in place by 1 June and has pledged to offer the Covid-19 vaccination to all adults before Midsummer (the final weekend of June), depending on the availability of vaccines.

Sweden’s live music association, Svensk Live, says the passport “would be a piece of the puzzle in the work of being able to reopen concerts and festivals this summer”.

Svensk Live, says the passport “would be a piece of the puzzle in being able to reopen concerts and festivals this summer”

Festival organisers in Sweden’s neighbouring country, Denmark, are similarly optimistic about the viability of the forthcoming season after the Danish government announced plans to roll out a vaccine passport in three to four months. However, unlike Sweden, the Danish government has said vaccine passports will initially only apply to travel.

Elsewhere, Sweden’s minister of culture, Amanda Lind, has revealed that the government is preparing proposals for more “accurate and appropriate” restrictions for public gatherings and public events.

Lind says that restrictions and capacity limit should be able to vary depending on whether the gathering or event is organised indoors or outdoors, as well as the size of the venue or area.

The proposals will be submitted in February and implemented as soon as the infection situation allows.

Last year, Sweden imposed one of the lowest capacity limits in Europe for cultural events, reducing the threshold from 300 seated and socially distanced patrons to just eight.

Non-essential activities, including concerts, are currently banned until 7 February under Sweden’s extended restrictions.


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