Sweden, Denmark and Norway lift COVID-19 restrictions, the WHO warns it's too soon

The UK also changed its self-isolation rules for people who test positive for the virus.
Loukia Papadopoulos
People wearing protective face masks walking on Regent Street in London, United KingdomVV Shots/iStock

There's no doubt that people have had enough of the coronavirus and its accompanying restrictions.

But is it time to scrap these measures? Some nations believe so.

Is this a step towards getting societies back to normal or a dangerous move in the wrong direction?

Sweden, Denmark, and Norway lift restrictions

It all began with Denmark lifting all restrictions on February 1. Norway followed by lifting many of its COVID-19 measures on the same date while Sweden lifted the majority of its remaining restrictions on February 9.

The Swedish government is also aiming to reclassify the coronavirus as a disease that is “not a danger to society or a threat to public health” from April 1. However, not all are on board with these new decisions.

A warning from the WHO

On the same date that Denmark and Norway announced their decisions to scrap COVID-19 measures, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference most regions of the world were undergoing a “very worrying increase in deaths” due to the introduction of the omicron variant.

“More transmission means more deaths,” he explained. “We are not calling for any country to return to a so-called lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit – not vaccines alone.”

“It’s premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory,” Tedros warned.

The warning seems to fall on deaf ears as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed just this week that self-isolation rules for people who test positive for the virus will end at the end of this month.

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Although it is good for economies and societies for circumstances in nations to go back to normal one has to wonder about the dangers of ignoring advice from experts in the field. If the preeminent health organization in the world says it's too soon to scrap restrictions then it is very likely indeed so.

Lifting restrictions now may make people happy for a little while but if the spread of the virus worsens it will be a painful price to pay for a little comfort. Should these European nations reconsider their current decisions?

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