Sweden has reportedly been discussing the introduction of local blockades in an attempt to stem the spread of Covid-19 by resisting the measure for months.
The number of cases has increased dramatically in the last two weeks, with 970 confirmed on Thursday, the highest since June.
The country’s approach to the pandemic is controversial, as businesses and schools remain open at all times, although citizens are advised to follow the rules of social distancing.
But according to Johns Hopkins University, which measures global pandemic data, the country now has the 12th highest mortality rate in the world, at 58.4 per 100,000 people.
Sweden, with a population of just over 10 million, has registered 5,918 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Authorities are now pushing for local blockades amid growing questions about the country’s approach.
Johan Noid, who heads the infectious diseases department in the city of Uppsala, told The Telegraph: “This is more of a locking situation, but a local locking.”
As of tomorrow, health authorities are ready to ask people to stay away from shopping malls, gyms, libraries and museums.
Despite the growing urgency on the part of healthcare professionals, these restrictions will not be legally applicable, there will be no fines.
Bitte Brastad, chief legal officer of the Swedish Public Health Agency, described the move as “something in between regulations and recommendations”.
But experts warn that this could be followed by additional measures.
Senior epidemiologist Anders Wallensten said the country had “some immunity as a result of how we coped”, but denied that “herd immunity” had always been the goal.