Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced Thursday the nation would end its remaining COVID-19 related restrictions on February 9, effectively declaring the pandemic over, making the Scandinavian country the latest European nation to scale back pandemic measures.
“As we know this pandemic, I would say it’s over. It’s not over, but as we know it in terms of quick changes and restrictions, it is,” Health Minister Lena Hallengren said, adding that COVID-19 would no longer be classified as a danger to society.
As of Wednesday, bars and restaurants were allowed to stay open after 11 pm and with no limits on the number of guests.
Sweden also lifted the attendance limits for larger indoor venues and the use of vaccine passes.
“We should have a little more patience, wait at least a couple of more weeks. And we are wealthy enough to keep testing. The disease is still a huge strain on society,” Professor of Virology at Umea University and one of the staunchest critics of Sweden’s no-lockdown policy, Fredrik Elgh said.
Sweden’s health agency said this week that large-scale testing was too expensive in relation to the benefits.
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