Sweden will ease many of its restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 on July 1, allowing larger crowds at stadiums and restaurants, the minister of health said on Monday.
Sweden has been an outlier in the fight against the pandemic, relying on mostly voluntary measures. However, there have been curbs on restaurant opening hours and the amount of people allowed at sports venues, shopping malls and stores.
"The spread of infection has decreased sharply," Minister of Health Lena Hallengren told a news conference. "It has been a long and difficult time, and we have experienced one, two and three waves. But thanks to vaccinations, we see an improved situation."
As of next month, curbs on restaurants and bar opening hours will be lifted, though all guests will still have to be seated. The number of seated spectators at outdoor stadiums will also rise to 3,000 from 500, and more if the stadium is divided into clearly separated sections.
The recommendations to only meet people in your household or immediate circle and to wear masks during certain hours in public transport will also lifted.
More than 57 per cent of Sweden's adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine, and every third person is fully vaccinated.
More than 14,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in Sweden, many times higher than in neighbouring Nordic countries, though it has fared better than most European countries that opted for strict lockdowns.