Responding to the Global Detention Project’s Covid-19 survey, the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman’s office reported that Sweden had not established a moratorium on new immigration detention orders and that no such measure was under consideration. The Ombudsman’s office indicated that the Swedish police released immigration detainees in cases where expulsion could not be executed in the foreseeable future. Migrants and asylum seekers released from detention must observe the rules that the Public Health Agency has issued, for instance, physical distancing, washing hands, staying home if one has symptoms of Covid-19, and no using public transport unless absolutely necessary.
The Ombudsman’s office also stated that immigration detainees may be tested for Covid-19 if they have symptoms of the disease. If a detainee has symptoms, they will be placed in a separate unit in isolation. In addition, there is to be limited and specially designated staff who are authorised to work in that separate unit to avoid spreading the infection to other detainees.
Regarding removals, the Ombudsman’s office indicated that they did not have information to which countries removals were taking place and stated that Sweden had not adopted new immigration or asylum policies in response to Covid-19.
- Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Office, Global Detention Project Covid-19 survey, 3 July 2020.
- Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention in Sweden, July 2018, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/sweden
- Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman Office logo, (Ombudsman website, https://www.jo.se/en/)