While coronavirus cases rebound across Europe, Sweden is enjoying record low numbers of infections and deaths despite months of scepticism about its lockdown-free strategy.
Sweden’s infection rate – once the highest in Europe – is now lower than in Britain, Spain, France or Italy, as well as Norway and Denmark where leaders have long been alarmed by their neighbour’s high death rate.
Sweden last week carried out a record number of tests but only 1.2 per cent of them came back positive, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic.
The Swedish comeback has now led Britain to remove the country from its quarantine list, opening the door to tourism in an economy which has already suffered a milder downturn than much of Europe.
Sweden has flattened the curve without ordering its people to stay inside – keeping shops, schools and restaurants open even at the height of the pandemic and trusting Swedes to combat the virus by washing their hands and abiding by social distancing rules.
The Nordic country’s top epidemiologist has also played down the effectiveness of face masks and insisted that a full-scale lockdown would not have prevented care home deaths.
Read more: How comeback kid Sweden got the last laugh on coronavirus: Infections and deaths fall to record lows and economy improves as Britain removes the country that shunned lock-down from the quarantine list