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A busy street in Stockholm

Sweden drops remaining COVID restrictions

Sweden drops remaining COVID restrictions

It thus becomes the third Nordic country to do so

Yesterday, the Swedish authorities announced that there will be no more socio-economic restrictions related to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. With that, it becomes the third Nordic country, after Denmark and Norway, to decide that it is time to return to a sense of normalcy in daily life.

In that sense, many commentators reacted to the news by reminding the public that Sweden had always been going its own way when it came to tackling the viral pandemic, which took the world by storm last year. If anything, one might even be surprised that the Swedes were not the first to drop the restrictions, given that they were never too fond of them in the first place.

What does this mean for people living there?

As things currently stay, only about 64% of the Swedish population has been fully vaccinated (according to Our World in Data). In other words – slightly less than two out of every three residents. For many other governments that would not be considered a sufficient number to ensure a collective immunity. However, what has justified the removal of the restrictions in Sweden is that most of its senior population has received the jab.

This group was, in fact, always the one most at risk and which gave most victims to COVID. Indeed, Sweden presented an unusually high mortality rate last year for a highly-developed Western nation. That mortality had to do with pandemic clusters in the country’s nursing home and the initial decision not to impose a lockdown.

Later on, some form of restrictions was implemented, usually with the recommendation to work from home, wherever that was possible. There were also restrictions on the number of attendees to sports events, concerts and hospitality venues. All of the above is now scrapped.

Sweden was different in its pandemic management since, rather than the politicians, it was the experts at the National Health Agency who took the major decisions. Reportedly, despite the initially high mortality that has not shaken up the strong trust that Swedes traditionally exhibit towards their public institutions.

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