The Swedish government on Thursday announced a plan to ease restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, starting June 1, but without a firm date for full reopening.
“Let’s start looking at the beginning of the end,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a news conference.
The easing of the restrictions would be done in five stages and would depend on the level of infection, stress on health care and the launch of vaccines, the government said.
“I want to emphasize that the removal of restrictions is being done responsibly and with the readiness to deal with a situation where the infection rate may rise again,” Lofven said.
The Scandinavian country has never imposed the kind of blockade seen elsewhere in Europe, controversially relying on non-coercive measures.
However, it has been gradually tightening restrictions since November, including the ban alcohol sales after eight in the evening and in public meetings of more than eight people.
From March, cafes, bars and restaurants will also be closed at 20:30.
The first step in reopening would be for restaurants to remain open until 10:30 p.m., and the resumption of some sports activities and face-to-face teaching for adult students.
The second stage, scheduled for July 1, will include an upper limit on private and public meetings and endowments for larger audiences for sporting and cultural events, as well as the removal of a recommendation to interact only. with people from a close social circle.
The three and four phases are currently scheduled for July 15 and September, respectively.
They would first see the removal of seat restrictions public transport and how many people may be in the shops, followed by the total removal of restrictions on the number of people at private and public meetings, along with public restrictions on events.
No date had yet been set for the final stage, which would allow it to be fully lifted restrictions, Said Lofven.
Johan Carlson, director of the Swedish Public Health Agency, noted that the number of new cases had fallen by 30-40 per cent in some parts of the country, but urged people to “continue to persevere and follow the recommendations which are still in force “.
The Nordic country of 10.3 million people reported a total of 1,068,473 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14,451 associated deaths on Thursday.
Last week, Sweden led the EU in the number of new cases per capita, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Sweden presents a plan to alleviate virus restrictions (2021, May 27) recovered on May 27, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-sweden-unveils-ease-virus-restrictions. html
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