This is the right decision: respecting the freedom of people and Human Rights, which guarantees the freedom of Movement of men and ideas.
With most of Europe imposing extraordinary restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, Sweden has left its citizens surprisingly free. Are Swedes rolling the dice with their public health, or is everyone else overreacting?
As most of Europe clamps down in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19, one country is bucking the trend. Sweden is taking a markedly more liberal approach to combatting the virus. Despite its closest neighbours, Denmark and Norway, shutting down all but essential services, Swedes remain free to socialise as the harsh Scandinavian winter comes to an end. Although universities and high schools have shut, pre-schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, ski resorts, sports clubs and hairdressers have all remained open.
The streets of Stockholm and Malmo are noticeably quieter than usual, but positively bustling compared to those of Copenhagen, Oslo, London, Paris and Rome. Standing in bars is banned but as long as punters can find a seat they’re free to enjoy a night out. Other steps taken include gatherings of more than 50 people being banned and the over 70s being urged to self-isolate.
With the exception of Belarus, which hasn’t even suspended its football league, Sweden’s restrictions amount to the most relaxed out there. This has prompted observers both in and outside the country to wonder if they are playing fast and loose with the nation’s health or taking the most proportionate response in the West. Prime minister Stefan Lofven has warned that times ahead would be tough but also put the onus on individual Swedes. He added: “We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can’t legislate and ban everything.”