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Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

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Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

STOCKHOLM — The streets of Stockholm are quiet but not deserted. People still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden’s capital. Vendors still sell flowers. Teenagers still chat in groups in parks. Some still greet each other with hugs and handshakes. After a long, dark Scandinavian winter, the coronavirus pandemic is not keeping…

Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

The streets of Stockholm are quiet however no longer deserted. Folk mute sit down at outside cafes within the center of Sweden’s capital. Vendors mute promote vegetation. Children mute chat in groups in parks. Some mute greet every other with hugs and handshakes.

After a protracted, murky Scandinavian chilly climate, the coronavirus pandemic is no longer keeping Swedes at dwelling even while voters in many parts of the sphere are sheltering in area and received’t derive shops or restaurants originate on the few occasions they are authorized to venture out.

Swedish authorities beget urged the public to look at social distancing and to beget money working from dwelling, if that you simply would mediate of, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. But compared to the lockdowns imposed in utterly different places on this planet, the authorities’s response to the virus permits a liberal amount of non-public freedom.

Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, however restaurant possibilities can mute be served at tables in area of having to engage food to head. Excessive colleges and universities are closed, however preschools and fundamental colleges are mute working classes in person.

“Sweden is an outlier on the European scene, as a minimum,” said Johan Giesecke, the nation’s former chief epidemiologist and now adviser to the Swedish Effectively being Company, a authorities body. “And I mediate that is intellectual.”

Different European worldwide locations “beget taken political, unconsidered actions” in area of ones dictated by science, Giesecke asserted.

It stays unclear how long Sweden’s unparalleled insist will closing.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, warning of “many no longer easy weeks and months ahead,” presented Friday that as of Sunday, gatherings might per chance presumably per chance be restricted to 50 of us in area of 500. The authorities illustrious that weddings, funerals and Easter celebrations might per chance presumably per chance be affected.

Peaceable, to diminish the spread of the virus in Germany and the U.K., groups greater than two are currently prohibited unless they are mute of of us that already stay together. Officials in Italy and France presented more and more restrictive limits on public actions and at closing authorized fines because they said too many of us overlooked social distancing ideas.

For now, the Swedish authorities maintains that voters can even be relied on to exercise responsibility for the greater intellectual and might per chance presumably per chance also just own dwelling within the occasion that they abilities any COVID-19 symptoms. Many Swedes are indeed keeping the rapid distance from others.

Victoria Holmgren, 24, praised the Swedish authorities’s handling of the public health crisis as “very intellectual.”

“And or no longer it is partly because I invent no longer mediate I could per chance presumably per chance also manage being interior the full day,” Holmgren said.

However some scientists beget criticized the Swedish Public Effectively being Company’s capacity as irresponsible at some level of a world pandemic that has already killed over 21,000 of us in Europe. In an originate letter to the authorities, some 2,000 teachers called for greater transparency and more justification for its an infection prevention method.

Sten Linnarsson, a professor at Karolinska Institute, a well-known scientific college in Sweden, said the concern services on “the assessments and the course that the Swedish authorities has taken thru this epidemic, and significantly because there is de facto an absence of scientific proof being point out for these policies.”

Linnarsson compared Sweden’s handling of the virus to letting a kitchen fire burn with the intent of extinguishing it later.

“That does no longer beget any sense. And the hazard, and not using a doubt, is that it burns the full dwelling down,” he said.

Sweden’s present chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, argued that even when the nation’s comparatively permissive policies are an anomaly, they are more sustainable and efficient in conserving the public’s health than “drastic” strikes like closing colleges for four or five months.

Sweden, a nation of 10 million, had a total of 3,447 confirmed virus cases and and 105 deaths by Sunday, basically basically based on a Johns Hopkins University tally. On the alternative hand, there became once restricted making an are trying out, with some 24,500 tests conducted by Wednesday, basically basically based on genuine statistics.

“The target is to unhurried down the amount of present of us getting contaminated in protest that health care gets an realistic likelihood to engage care of them. And that’s what all of us enact in every nation in Europe,” Tegnell said. “We upright purchase assorted strategies to enact it.”

Susanna Moberg, a 63-one year-extinct retired teacher, said she relied on the authorities and furthermore believes Sweden’s abilities with the virus is no longer going to be as dire as Italy’s, which has by far basically the most virus-connected deaths on this planet at greater than 10,000.

“I’m no longer so terrified. I’m no longer 70 years but. And my teenagers are no longer sick so we’re going to hasten to a cafe on Sunday,” Moberg said. “We said ‘Everybody is successfully and the restaurant is originate.’ So we’re going to hasten there to beget an excellent time. We are going to be capable of no longer own at dwelling the full day, all week.”


Vanessa Gera in Warsaw, Poland, contributed to this impart.


Discover AP protection of the virus outbreak at and

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