Sweden not ready to lift COVID restrictions yet - PM Lofven

STOCKHOLM, April 22 (Reuters) - Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, will postpone a tentative plan to ease some COVID-19 restrictions due to the ongoing high levels of new infections, the government said on Thursday.

Sweden is experiencing a severe third wave of the virus and the number of patients treated in intensive care is at the highest level since the spring of last year.

"When the strain on healthcare eases and the spread of infection drops, only then will the government be ready to start lifting restrictions," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a news conference. "But we are not there yet."

Compared to most countries Sweden has remained relatively open throughout the pandemic, but it has curbs on public gatherings and restaurant opening hours, and has effectively closed some venues, such as public pools and sports stadiums, for adults. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing Niklas Pollard)

04/22/2021 11:31

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