Working when close relations have confirmed COVID-19

On 1 October 2020, the Public Health Agency of Sweden issued new recommendations stating that someone sharing accommodation with a person who has been infected with COVID-19 is to be seen as a suspected disease carrier and be given specific rules of conduct by a doctor.

When applicable, a person who lives with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 will be contacted by a person in charge of contact tracing – often a doctor. The rules of conduct can vary, and the doctor decides if and what rules should apply. But the rules can mean that the person cannot go to work, school or participate in recreational activities. You are obliged by law to follow the measures necessary to protect yourself and others from risk of infection.

This is valid for staff at Umeå University who are suspected disease carriers

  • If you are healthy enough to work, you are urged to work from home with work tasks that can be performed from home in agreement with your manager.
  • If you are healthy enough to work, but cannot work from home, you can remain at home without salary deduction if a doctor has issued orders for you to stay at home. Normally, you are obliged to show a doctor's certificate to your employer, but the Swedish Government has decided to temporarily make an exception to that rule. The exception means that you do not need to provide a written doctor's certificate. However, it is important that you contact your manager and that the manager is ensured that such an order from a doctor exists. This should be done by you sending a written assurance to your employer. These temporary exceptions are valid until 30 September 2021.
  • If you are looking after a sick child, you are to apply for care of a sick child allowance (vab) from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Report your absence in PASS.
  • If you are too sick to work, you must report sick in PASS.

Doctor's certificate

In order to be paid salary although you are not working, you must provide proof of your status as suspected disease carrier in the form of a doctor's certificate from the contact tracer or equivalent. This certificate must be issued from the first day and indicate that you are not allowed to go to work because of the risk of spreading infection.

Disease carrier allowance (smittbärarpenning)

As a member of staff at Umeå University you cannot apply for disease carrier allowance from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency since you do not miss out on any income when you are absent from work as a suspected disease carrier. This is according to an agreement entered into between the Swedish Agency for Government Employees and the employee organisations, which states that no salary deduction is to be made when an employee is absent due to being a confirmed or suspected disease carrier according to the Communicable Diseases Act (Smittskyddslagen).

Students as suspected disease carriers

Just like employees, students who share accommodation or student housing with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 can also be issued with rules of conduct by a doctor that could mean that the student cannot go to the University. Information aimed at students is published under FAQ for current students on the COVID-19 pages for students.


If you have questions regarding your situation, please first and foremost consult your supervisor.
If you have other questions about the University's information or handling of COVID-19, please contact

Anja Axelsson