The government no longer considers Covid-19 a critical threat to society
Denmark, a country whose approach earlier in the Covid pandemic was thought of as the opposite of Sweden, with early border restrictions and school closures, has now overtaken its neighbour as the most restriction-free country in Scandinavia.
An article in today’s Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish broadsheet, observes:
Nightclubs in Denmark have been open since last week, and as of September 10th, guests will no longer need to show their “Coronapass” which serves as proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. Despite having higher case numbers than Sweden, all the remaining restrictions will be lifted — the Danish government no longer considers Covid-19 a ‘critical threat to society.’
Sweden is progressing more cautiously. The administration has set out a 5 stage plan for lifting restrictions, and stage 3 was passed on July 15th, including an end to the requirement to wear masks on public transport and an increase in permitted restaurant table sizes from 4 to 8.
Stage 4, including the removal of all restrictions on size of gatherings, was pencilled in for September but, as case numbers are gently rising in Sweden, the date has not yet been confirmed. Health officials have warned that it could be delayed further, with some restrictions lasting into next year.
Lone Simonsen, Professor of Epidemiology at Roskilde University in Denmark, told SvD:
Meanwhile Norway, previously with the lowest Covid numbers in the region, is experiencing a sharp spike in infections. Thursday saw 1,785 new infections, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.