We’ve seen our close neighbours Denmark opt to lift all Covid restrictions, and Sweden is quickly following suit. At a press conference this morning (Thursday, February 3), Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that almost all Covid-19 restrictions in the nation would come to an end next week, with Wednesday, February 9 the date for your diaries.
Standing alongside Health Minister Lena Hallengren and the Public Health Agency’s Director General Karin Tegmark Wisell, the PM stated that “we are nearing the point for Sweden to open up again”, and contended that whilst the pandemic was not yet over, it was entering a new phase. The same rationale to ease restrictions in Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK recently applies to Sweden: that the Omicron variant is widely considered to be a milder strain of coronavirus, and that high vaccination rates are helping slow the spread.
A number of restrictions are being scrapped from February 9, with rules on home working, restaurants, shops, and gatherings all being relaxed. From the ninth, Swedes won’t need a vaccination pass for indoor events with over 50 people, restaurants won’t need to close at 11pm (or stop serving alcohol at 10:30pm), and shops, museums, art galleries, theme parks, gyms, and swimming pools won’t need to set a limit on the number of guests allowed inside. Similarly, all those working from home are being asked to prepare to return to the workplace from this date.
With regards to travelling, any travellers on long-distance public transport won’t need to be seated, and the government is also planning to remove restrictions on travel to the Nordic countries – although the full information on this is yet to be revealed. There will be a handful of restrictions remaining in place, including special recommendations for the unvaccinated and the guidance to stay at home if you’re sick or believe you may have Covid-19. Still, the easing of restrictions in Sweden will mark a big step forward in the nation’s return to normality.