Sweden eases quarantine rules, key workers are exempted when Omicron collapses | WSAU News / Talk 550 AM · 99.9 FM
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will loosen the covid-19 quarantine rules and make it easier for employees with key jobs in sectors such as healthcare and police to go to work, the health authority said on Thursday, when the Omicron variant of the virus collapsed. the country.
People who test positive or who live with someone who has tested positive must be isolated for 5 days instead of 7 previously, said the Public Health Agency.
A small number of key workers will not have to quarantine at all if they have no symptoms and test negative, even though they have been in close contact with a sick person.
“In order to deal with the high rate of infection, which is also expected to increase in the coming period, and not to jeopardize social functions, we are adjusting the recommendations for testing and for restrictions,” says the health authority Sara. Byfors said this at a press conference.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said that staff shortages could be a real problem and that key workers in areas such as electricity, heating, water and internet distribution as well as in the rescue service could be exempted from the quarantine rules.
On Thursday, Sweden reported a new daily record for covid-19 infections, with 39,938 cases on January 19, marginally higher than the day before. The health authority said that a large part of the population was at risk of getting the virus in the coming weeks.
The actual number of cases would probably be significantly higher as the national test capacity has reached its ceiling.
The health authority asked people who can work from home not to test themselves so that those who need to be at their jobs can continue to work.
According to the health authority’s modeling, Sweden could reach a peak of 69,000 daily cases later this month, but with the limited test capacity, it was unclear whether that level had already been passed.
The high number of cases has burdened care, but the number of patients in need of care was far below the peak of previous waves. On Thursday, 110 people needed intensive care due to covid.
The Swedish government recently announced new restrictions to include the more contagious Omicron variant.
(Reportage by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson and Toby Chopra)