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Coronavirus live news: India variant found in 44 countries – WHO; Norway ‘will not resume AstraZeneca rollout’


The government had said at the end of last month it hoped to ease restrictions and allow more spectators for some sporting and cultural events from May 17, but Lofven said the situation in the health system remained strained.

“We see a certain light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet,” Lofven told reporters. “If we are careless now, we will pay later.”

Later on Wednesday, the Public Health Agency will present a plan to the government about how other restrictions can be eased, when the situation with the pandemic allows.

If the number of infections falls, the vaccination programme moves forward as planned and the situation in the healthcare system eases, many of the restrictions could be eased later in the summer, Health Agency head Johan Carlson said.

Carlson said that the agency had also told the government that restaurants should be allowed to stay open longer from June 1.

Binding rules include curbs on restaurant opening hours, limiting the number of people in shops and malls and effectively closing museums, public pools and amusement parks.

Sweden’s confirmed cases per capita have been among the highest in Europe in recent weeks, but Carlson said that the situation was showing signs of stabilising.

The country reported 6,330 new cases on Wednesday and 50 deaths.

Despite the absence of lockdowns, Sweden had lower excess mortality than most European countries in 2020, but higher than that of its Nordic neighbours.



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