STOCKHOLM, June 28 (Reuters) – Sweden will ease many of its restrictions aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID -19 on July 1, so that larger crowds can be found in stadiums and restaurants, the Minister of Health said on Monday.
Sweden has been an outlier in the fight against the pandemic and has mostly relied on voluntary measures. However, there have been restrictions on the restaurant’s opening hours and the number of people allowed in sports venues, shopping malls and shops.
– The spread of infection has decreased sharply, says Minister of Health Lena Hallengren at a press conference. “It has been a long and difficult time, and we have experienced one, two and three waves. But thanks to vaccinations, we see an improved situation.”
From next month, the limits for restaurants and bar opening hours will be curtailed, although all guests will still have to sit. The number of seated spectators in outdoor stadiums will also rise to 3,000 from 500, and more if the stadium is divided into clearly separated sections.
The recommendations to only meet people in your household or immediate circle and to wear masks during certain hours in public transport will also be repealed.
More than 57 percent of Sweden’s adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine and every third person is fully vaccinated.
More than 14,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in Sweden, many times higher than in the Nordic neighboring countries, although things have gone better than most European countries that opted for strict suspensions.
Reporting by Johan Ahlander, editing by Anna Ringstrom
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