Swedish Minister for Social Affairs Lena Hallengren has warned residents they should consider abandoning Christmas plans if they show symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus, and even if they are fully vaccinated.
Minister Hallengren warned that new restrictions to attempt to halt the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus could also be implemented in the coming week as the number of new cases has rapidly increased, including cases of the Omicron variant of the virus.
“For those who are fully vaccinated and healthy, it is possible to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, but be prepared to cancel if you get symptoms,” Hallengren said, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The comments come just a month after the Swedish Public Health Authority (FHM) had warned that Swedes should be prepared to cancel Christmas travel plans over fears of a winter surge of coronavirus cases.
The Swedish government’s health authority has already recommended that people take certain actions to slow the spread of the virus, including working from home and using face masks on public transport and other public environments with crowds.
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The FHM is also scheduled to present new infection scenarios next week which could lead to possible further restrictions but so far no details have been given. Hallengren commented that if details had been finalised, the government would not wait until next week to announce them.
Sweden had previously lifted restrictions in September, which included curfews on certain businesses, reducing public gatherings, and switching some schools to online learning.
While Sweden has previously had one of the laxest approaches to the Wuhan coronavirus, refusing to lock down while other countries enacted strict lockdown measures last year, the country has recently introduced vaccine passports for certain venues, bringing itself in line with other European states in terms of lockdown severity.