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Sweden to end COVID-19 restrictions


Sweden to end COVID-19 restrictions

Sweden to end COVID-19 restrictions Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty

The Swedish government plans to lift most COVID-19 restrictions today, even as the country reached its highest daily average of new infections in late January.

Restrictions will be lifted in two stages. Starting today, Sweden will no longer require citizens and travelers to show proof of vaccination upon entry to bars, restaurants and public transport. Infection rates will probably remain high for a while longer, though the worst consequences of the contagion are likely in the past, as 73.9% of Sweden’s population has been fully vaccinated.

Assuming hospitals are not burdened by case numbers following the removal of restrictions, the Swedish Health Agency will likely propose that the virus no longer be classified a threat to society and lift the remaining restrictions by April 1.

While Sweden’s economy suffered from pandemic-related restrictions and behavioral changes in 2020, the country has rebounded much quicker than other European nations, with activity returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in the second quarter of 2021. The government appears optimistic about re-opening the economy, and there will likely be little political pushback to relaxing restrictions. Expect the removal of restrictions to benefit Sweden’s economy in the medium-term, with a predicted economic growth of 3.5% GDP in 2022.

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