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16 Apr, 2021 11:36

Sweden eases lockdown measures, but only for people who’ve had a Covid jab

Sweden eases lockdown measures, but only for people who’ve had a Covid jab

Sweden’s Public Health Agency announced on Friday that the country will begin to ease lockdown measures for individuals who have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, granting freedom to mostly older individuals.

The relaxed restrictions will give people permission to meet others outside of their bubble, indoors and outdoors, as well as to recommence communal activities and reopen stores for people who have had a dose of a Covid vaccine more than three weeks ago.

Speaking to reporters, the head of the country's Public Health Agency praised the move by declaring that “Now it is okay for a vaccinated grandmother to hug her grandchildren,” even though the government accepts this is only a “small easing.”

While the country’s vaccination program has, so far, administered doses to about one fifth of residents, those inoculated are almost exclusively elderly or living in care homes, with the rollout only recently being expanded to all over-60s.

Despite the progress, the Public Health Agency boss was quick to clarify that the government will not be condoning the holding of large gatherings or ending the work-from-home guidance right now, as "not enough people have been vaccinated."

Sweden imposed Covid restrictions over concerns that soaring cases in the country were putting too much pressure on the health service and risking the safety of the nation, as the infection spread rapidly through citizens. 

The announcement from Swedish officials comes despite the country recording the highest per-capita number of Covid infections and having more patients being treated for the virus in intensive care units than during the first wave of the outbreak.

Also on rt.com Sweden halts J&J vaccine rollout until EU regulator reviews US reports of ‘very rare’ blood clot cases

To help bolster its vaccination program, Sweden’s vaccine chief Richard Bergstrom revealed that the nation, along with other European countries, are talking to Russia about purchasing the Sputnik V vaccine. 

Bergstrom stated that Sweden’s aim “is to have a contract in place when – or if – the vaccine is approved,” as European nations look at ways to speed up inoculations across the continent after the EU’s program was hampered by delivery delays.

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