Sweden’s Loose COVID-19 Containment Approach and the Resulting Mobility Restrictions

    Sep 01, 2020 @ 07:15 AM / by Mona Zayed

    View of Galma Stan from Monteliusv�¤gen, in S�¶dermalm, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Business as usual in Sweden?     

    In May 2020, I conducted a remote housing survey of Stockholm. I read extensively about Sweden’s herd-immunity approach to COVID-19 and how the government is not enforcing business closures.

    I assumed many workers would still be working in their offices, but I found that real estate agents I spoke to were working from home. One agent explained that Swedish companies tend to offer generous work-from-home policies and the real estate industry has been adjusting to the pandemic by providing more digital showings to prospective tenants.


    COVID-19's impact on global mobility in Sweden

    Sweden’s approach has affected mobility in and out of the country. On March 19, the Swedish government implemented a temporary entry ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except EU Member states, the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. This ban was initially meant to apply for thirty days but has been extended multiple times since March. Currently, the ban is set to end on August 31st, 2020.

    Countries exempt from Sweden’s entry ban are still at will to enforce their own restrictions on travellers coming from Sweden. For example, on June 15, Norway began allowing travellers from Denmark, Finland, and Iceland to enter the country without quarantine. However, those travelling from Sweden were required to go into a 10-day home quarantine upon entry.

    Since then, the Norwegian government lifted the quarantine enforcement from seven Swedish counties. While Sweden’s loose containment approach might have initially safeguarded their economy, it seems to be playing out some unforeseen consequences on international mobility and we will continue to monitor this closely. 


    What's coming next for the COVID-19 recovery?

    AIRINC continues to monitor global changes and the impact on expatriates. Please reach out with any questions you may have about how global conditions are impacting your business and assignees.

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    On-site Insight: 

    This post is part of AIRINC's On-site Insight series. On-site Insight provides readers with an exclusive “behind-the-surveys” perspective of new and existing expatriate locations based on commentary and photos from our global research team. Included is information on general living conditions as well as changing costs for both Goods & Services and Housing & Utilities, along with much, much more.


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    Topics: Housing, On-site Insight, Hardship, Global Mobility, Goods & Services, Insights and Experience, International Housing Guide, Coronavirus, Sweden, COVID-19, COVID-19 Recovery

    Mona Zayed

    Written by Mona Zayed

    Mona joined AIRINC in 2020 as a surveyor and analyst. Her primary responsibilities include researching international goods and services prices, conducting housing surveys, and analyzing the assembled data. She received her bachelor degrees from Boston University, where she studied Environmental Science and International Relations. In addition to English, Mona speaks Arabic. She is based in Cambridge, MA.