Swedish health officials lift ‘personal lockdown’ order for Uppsala

Swedish health officials lift ‘personal lockdown’ order for Uppsala
People in central Uppsala in April Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
Sweden’s Uppsala region, which last month became the first Swedish region to urge residents to enter a “personal lockdown”, is set to lift its stricter regional recommendations.

Sweden’s national coronavirus recommendations will still be in place in Uppsala even after the personal lockdown ends. These includes working from home if possible, avoiding public transport and crowded areas, and socialising with as few people as possible.

But the region’s slightly stricter regional recommendations will be lifted on Monday. This means for example that children and young people who are born after 2002 can take part in sporting events once a week outdoors, wrote the region in a statement on Friday.

Uppsala in April urged all residents to “enter a personal lockdown” and “consider all human contacts as a potential risk” after an increase in new cases of coronavirus. The messaging was stronger than elsewhere in Sweden, but the advice to limit your social contacts was essentially the same as what applied nationally. However, health officials said the stronger tone had achieved the desired outcome.

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“When we introduced the local recommendations and called for a personal lockdown, the county was in an extreme situation, with a healthcare system approaching its maximum capacity. That’s why we had to tighten [the recommendations]. This has now had an effect,” said Uppsala’s deputy infectious disease doctor Anna Gillman in the statement.

“Together with vaccinations, this means we’re down to a level that’s closer to the nationwide average, so stricter measures in Uppsala are no longer justified.”

Uppsala last week confirmed 308 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people, fewer than the national seven-day average of 325 cases. Ten Covid-19 patients were being treated in intensive care in Uppsala last week, compared to 21 at the peak of the region’s third wave in April.

But Gillman warned that the situation was still serious:

“This must not be interpreted as meaning that the danger has passed. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and Sweden still has a relatively high spread of infection. Many people are not yet vaccinated.

“You should therefore continue to protect yourself and others in the same way as before: by keeping your distance, staying at home and getting tested for the slightest symptoms, working from home if you can, only socialising in a small circle and maintaining good hand hygiene.”


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