Denmark, Sweden and Norway are back to (almost) normal after 18 months with various degrees of covid-19 restrictions
After 18 months with working from home, social distancing and long periods where we had to use masks in public, at least in large parts of Denmark and Norway, the three Scandinavian countries have now gone back to almost normal again. There are still some travel restrictions and we’re still encouraged to go test ourselves and stay at home if we have corona symptoms, but there are little to no restrictions when it comes to meeting friends, going to concerts, or giving someone a hug.
High vaccine rate
The main reason for why we can move back to normal is the high vaccine rate in all three Scandinavian countries. Very few people have turned down the free vaccines we’ve been offered and almost none in the older age groups have said no to vaccines. Since almost only un-vaccines people get severely ill from covid-19 this means we have very few people hospitalized due to covid-19 and most of the people in hospital recover and very few who die from covid-19 now.
Number of dead per 100,000 people from covid-19 in the five Nordic countries from March 2020 until October 2021. Data from VG
Different approach in Scandinavia
The Scandinavian countries have opened up within weeks from each other. This is probably the first time during the pandemic that the Scandinavian countries have the same approach to covid-19. The level of restrictions have been very different between the three Scandinavian countries.
Norway’s approach was to close her borders and also have strict restrictions in the bigger cities. Businesses in Oslo weren’t allowed to stay open unless it was impossible for their employers to work from home. Masks were in use from the autumn of 2020 to the summer of 2021.
Denmark also closed down her borders and had restrictions on businesses. A large testing system was quickly rolled out and corona passports were in place where people could only go to the hairdresser or restaurants if they’d been vaccinated or recently tested.
Sweden didn’t close down nearly as much as Denmark and Norway. The high number of dead in Sweden, compared to the rest of the Nordic countries, has been a topic of discussion in media and among scientists. Did the restrictions save lives in Norway and Denmark? We can’t know that for sure yet, but it does make sense to think they did.
But now we can all celebrate our newfound freedom. Let’s all hope it lasts!