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Swedish minister defends #coronavirus approach, shrugs off far-right embrace

05:20, Friday, 01 May, 2020
Swedish minister defends #coronavirus approach, shrugs off far-right embrace

Sweden’s foreign minister says there’s been a “misunderstanding” in the United States about her country’s Covid-19 policies — which have been distinctly more liberal than the strict lockdowns instituted across much of the rest of Europe and North America.

Ann Linde told POLITICO that Sweden is not a libertarian nirvana: the government has moved to limit online gambling in recent days, is closing restaurants that break social distancing rules, and has forbidden family visits to nursing homes.
     But, added Linde, “this is a marathon not a sprint” and policy “needs to be on a level that’s acceptable to the people.”
     Sweden’s public health agency believes “It’s good for people to be outdoors, to have walks” she said. “If you’re locked inside there’s risk of depression, domestic violence, alcohol abuse” Linde continued, echoing a point President Donald Trump has often made.
     Sweden’s relatively lax approach to controlling the coronavirus pandemic — keeping restaurants, other businesses and most schools open — has made the country a symbol for far-right activists in the United States and Europe as they push to ease domestic restrictions in their own countries.

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