The country’s approach to the pandemic has been controversial, with businesses and schools remaining open throughout, although citizens have been advised to observe social distancing rules.
But according to Johns Hopkins University, which measures global data on the pandemic, the country now has the 12th highest death rate in the world, at 58.4 per 100,000 population.
This is 10 times the figure for neighboring Norway and Finland, although slightly lower than the 64.1 per 100,000 in the UK.
Sweden, which has a population of just over 10 million, has recorded 5,918 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Today, authorities are pushing for local lockdowns amid growing questions over the country’s approach.
Johan Nojd, who heads the infectious disease department in the city of Uppsala, told the Telegraph: “This is more of a lockdown situation – but a local lockdown. ”
From tomorrow, health authorities are expected to ask people to stay away from shopping malls, gyms, libraries and museums.
Despite the growing urgency from health officials, these restrictions will not be legally enforceable, there will be no fines.
Bitte Brastad, legal director of the Swedish public health agency, described the decision as “something between regulations and recommendations”.
But experts warn that it could be followed by new measures.
Senior epidemiologist Anders Wallensten claimed the country had “some immunity because of the way we have handled” but denied that “collective immunity” had always been the goal.