COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Public health authorities in Sweden advised restaurants, cultural venues and leisure centers on Wednesday to ask their customers to show digital evidence of vaccination against the coronavirus from next week.
The Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendation is not a legal requirement but a voluntary guide for companies. Sweden’s digital certificate only shows vaccination status and not evidence of a negative test or recently recovered from covid-19.
From 12 January, localities can introduce certificates as an entry requirement “in more activities where the risk of the spread of infection is great”, says Minister of Social Affairs Lena Hallengren.
In addition to restaurants, they include cultural sites such as museums and theaters, leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools and long-distance public transport, the government said in a statement.
At present, the passports are used only for public gatherings and indoor events for more than 100 people.
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– The spread of covid-19 is increasing in Sweden. We must be prepared to quickly introduce more precise infection control measures, says Hallengren.
Sweden reported a record 17,320 new daily cases on Wednesday.
During most of the pandemic, Sweden stood out among European nations for its comparatively practical response. The Scandinavian country never locked up or closed companies, but instead relied on citizens’ sense of civic duty to control infections. The authorities have emphasized individual responsibility instead of state health measures.
Authorities urged residents again on Wednesday to get vaccinated. The Public Health Agency’s official Britta Bjorklund said during a press conference that “there is a 12 times higher risk for the unvaccinated to become seriously ill and be in need of medical care.”
Official figures show that 85.9% of the population 12 years and older have received a first shot, while 82% have received two stabs.
In addition, 30.9% of people aged 18 and older received a third injection.
In November, Sweden introduced a digital vaccination certificate against covid-19 for public gatherings and events with more than 100 people indoors.
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