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Sweden to lift almost all COVID restrictions next week

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Sweden’s government and Public Health Agency confirmed that the fourth and final stage of its re-opening plan will take place next week, with a strong warning for unvaccinated people, The Local reported.

“Many people have made big sacrifices in their daily life. Now it is time for the Swedish people to meet again,” said Health Minister Lena Hallengren at a press conference. “From September 29th, we are taking a big step towards the life we had before the pandemic.”

She was joined by Culture Minister Amanda Lind and the Public Health Agency’s general director, Johan Carlson, who stated that current infection levels were in line with “the lowest possible curve” when compared to the agency’s previous forecasts.

The ministers confirmed that Sweden would implement previously announced changes beginning September 29th, including the removal of audience limits at all public events, the removal of all remaining restrictions for restaurants and bars, and the removal of Public Health Agency recommendations for the general public, such as working from home if possible.

Further restrictions apply to people over the age of 18 who have not yet been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (unless they have a medical reason not to be vaccinated). People in this group will still need to adhere to recommendations, the report said.

“Unvaccinated people must continue to adapt their life after September 29th by not visiting bars, restaurants, events where there may be crowding, for example,” said Carlson.

Throughout the press conference, all three stressed the importance of vaccination in keeping Covid-19 at a low level in Sweden, and urged the public to get their vaccine.

In first week of September, Health and Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren stated that the government was looking into the possibility of using vaccination certificates for certain activities, though he hoped that these would not be necessary to impose in a country with a long history of high vaccination rates.

According to Reuters, Sweden has had many more COVID-19 deaths per capita than its Nordic neighbours, who chose tighter controls during the initial waves of the pandemic, but fewer than many larger European countries that implemented hard lockdowns.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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