‘It’s time to open up Sweden,’ says Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.
BY CAMILLE GIJS AND CHARLIE DUXBURY
Sweden is set to lift all coronavirus restrictions by February 9, the government announced Thursday, as it joined the likes of the U.K., Denmark and Norway in downgrading the threat posed by COVID-19.
In a press conference, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that due to a better understanding of the Omicron variant and good vaccination rates, the country can lift all measures.
“It’s time to open up Sweden,” Andersson said. “The pandemic isn’t over, but it is moving into a new phase.”
The Swedish Public Health Agency said it had reassessed COVID-19 as not being socially critical, days after Denmark took a similar decision to treat the virus more like an endemic disease.
This announcement comes as Sweden is still experiencing high infection rates, though 73.9 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
While it is dropping coronavirus-related restrictions, the Swedish government said it was keeping some of its recommendations in place. Unvaccinated Swedes should still avoid crowded places and anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home, the government said.