Sweden releases remaining COVID restrictions
It will thus be the third Nordic country to do so
Yesterday, the Swedish authorities announced that there will be no more socio-economic restrictions to limit the covid-19 pandemic. With that, it will be 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 gone its own way when it came to tackling the viral pandemic that took the world by storm last year. If anything, one might even be surprised that the Swedes were not the first to release the restrictions, given that they were never too fond of them in the first place.
What does this mean for people who live there?
As things currently stand, only about 64% of the Swedish population has been fully vaccinated (according to Our world in data). In other words – a little less than two out of three inhabitants. For many other governments, this would not be considered a sufficient number to ensure collective immunity. What has justified the removal of the restrictions in Sweden, however, is that the majority of its older population has been given the job.
In fact, this group was always the most vulnerable and gave most of the victims to COVID. Sweden actually 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 homes and the first decision not to impose a suspension.
Later, some form of restriction was implemented, usually with the recommendation to work from home, where possible. There were also restrictions on the number of participants in sporting events, concerts and guest venues. Everything above is now scrapped.
Sweden was different in its pandemic management because, rather than the politicians, it was the experts at the National Health Agency who made the big decisions. According to information, despite the initially high mortality rate that has not shaken up the strong confidence that Swedes traditionally show towards their public institutions.