bridge
© Getty Images
The Öresund bridge linking Denmark and Sweden was closed earlier in the pandemic.
Denmark, a country whose approach earlier in the Covid pandemic was thought of as the opposite of Sweden, with early border restrictions and school closures, has now overtaken its neighbour as the most restriction-free country in Scandinavia.

An article in today's Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish broadsheet, observes:
It seems like an upside-down world all of a sudden: that the Danes, who at the start of the pandemic gave Swedish travellers the cold shoulder on the Öresund bridge and told them to turn back because Swedish Covid restrictions were too mild, are now letting go of the reins altogether. - SVENSKA DAGBLADET

Nightclubs in Denmark have been open since last week, and as of September 10th, guests will no longer need to show their "Coronapass" which serves as proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. Despite having higher case numbers than Sweden, all the remaining restrictions will be lifted — the Danish government no longer considers Covid-19 a 'critical threat to society.'

Sweden is progressing more cautiously. The administration has set out a
5 stage plan for lifting restrictions, and stage 3 was passed on July 15th, including an end to the requirement to wear masks on public transport and an increase in permitted restaurant table sizes from 4 to 8.

Stage 4, including the removal of all restrictions on size of gatherings, was pencilled in for September but, as case numbers are gently rising in Sweden, the date has not yet been confirmed. Health officials have warned that it could be delayed further, with some restrictions lasting into next year.

Lone Simonsen, Professor of Epidemiology at Roskilde University in Denmark, told SvD:
The Swedes were on the right track earlier in the pandemic. Anders Tegnell said, "we'll keep the schools open, we must be careful not to shut down society" and then managed to keep the epidemic under control throughout the summer of 2020. It's a story that isn't told often enough... We were really jealous here in Denmark, as we were stuck at home more. - PROFESSOR LONE SIMONSEN
Meanwhile Norway, previously with the lowest Covid numbers in the region, is experiencing a sharp spike in infections. Thursday saw 1,785 new infections, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.