Sweden now has the lowest Covid infection rate in western Europe — after double-vaccinated nationals were told they don’t have to test for the virus even if they get symptoms.

The Scandinavian nation — which was subject to international scrutiny last year when it refused to lockdown — is currently recording 85.4 cases per million people, according to Oxford University research site Our World in Data.

Comparatively, it’s nearly 1,400/million in Europe’s Covid capital Austria. Today, Austria announced that they will be resuming a complete lockdown starting Monday.

Sweden’s infection rate is far lower than other Western European countries like the Netherlands (1,048.7), Britain (581), Germany (536), and France (201). 

Sweden, for the first-time in pandemics, is reporting fewer deaths per capita than Scandinavian neighbor Denmark (655), Norway (351), and Finland (175).

Critics claim that Sweden is being left in the dark about the extent of the coronavirus outbreak because double-vaccinated people (equivalent to nearly seven out ten) aren’t routinely swabbed.

Sweden broke ranks once more with European neighboring countries and informed Swedes that they don’t need to test for jabs if the symptoms are present. Last week’s covid testing was down by 35% compared with a month ago. This week, however, the policy was reversed because of the rising number of African cases.  

The latest statistics show that 1.26 blood tests are performed in Sweden per 1000 inhabitants, which is the lowest level of any country in Western Europe. 

 A fresh wave of Delta is rolling across the continent and putting pressure on hospitals once again, which has forced most in the EU to bring back some form of curbs.

Boris Johnson warned that Europe’s tsunami could reach Britain this week, but experts say the continent is not behind Britain which experienced a spike in cases during the summer. 

The above graph shows the Covid infection rate per million people for western European countries from November last year. It reveals that Sweden currently has the lowest infection rate in the region

Below is the graph showing how Covid infections per million residents in Western Europe since November 2012. This graph shows that Sweden has the lowest current infection rate within the region.

This graph shows the number of daily Covid tests carried out per 1,000 people. It also shows that Sweden is carrying out the fewest number of tests. It has told double-vaccinated people not to get swabbed for the virus because they face very little risk from it, although this advice will be reversed from December 1

The graph below shows how many daily Covid test are performed per 1000 people. This graph also shows Sweden as the country that performs the least number of Covid tests per 1,000 people. Double-vaccinated persons have been advised not to be swabbed because there is very low risk. However, this will change starting December 1.

The above graph shows the proportion of the population that has received two doses of the Covid vaccine by nation. It reveals that Sweden is in the bottom half of countries for vaccine uptake, but ahead of nations including the UK and Germany

Below is a graph showing the share of each nation’s population who has had two doses. This graph shows that Sweden ranks in the lower half of all countries, while Germany and the UK are ahead.

Europe has become the epicentre of the pandemic once again, with the World Health Organisation warning that the Continent was the only region in the world where deaths had increased - with Covid-related fatalities spiking by five per cent just this week

Europe is once more the epicenter of the pandemic. The World Health Organisation warned that Europe was now the most affected region by the epidemic. Covid-related deaths increased five percent in Europe this week.

Although Sweden chose not to lock down completely early in the pandemic, it did introduce stricter legally-binding curbs last winter as cases and deaths rose. A couple hug and laugh as they have lunch in a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden did not lock down the epidemic early, but it implemented stricter legal-binding restrictions last winter to stem rising deaths and cases. Hear a couple laughing and hugging as they eat lunch in Stockholm.

Sweden suspended free Covid testing for vaccine recipients last week, but it will resume the program starting November 22. 

At the moment, it is performing 1.26 tests on every 1,000 inhabitants. This number is amongst the lowest in Western Europe. The UK has 12x more blood draws than Austria and 47x more than France. France is almost four times the number.

Swedes have complained that Covid tests are inconvenient because — unlike in Britain — they require people to submit their bank ID and speak to clinicians who decide whether they should be swabbed.

Are there any restrictions on Covid in Sweden 

According to figures, Sweden currently has the lowest Covid infected rate in Europe.

The country — which dodged a lockdown unlike most other nations — also has next to no Covid restrictions in place.

On September 29, it dropped all recommendations for people working from home.

The July advice to people not wearing face masks in public transport has been abandoned. Coverings are not required in the United States, but they were optional elsewhere.

Swedish health officials went further and informed people who had been double-vaccinated that they do not need to be swab for the virus.

This move was criticized by critics as it put the country in an unsafe position right before winter. 

Travel restrictions remain in effect for those coming from non-EU countries and Britain.

Every arrival must show proof that they were double-vaccinated.

If this is impossible, they will be asked to provide a negative Covid result to prove that they have not traveled from non-EU nations.

Every arrival must show documentation for up to 48 hours preceding their travel. 

Sweden will place additional restrictions starting December 1, requiring that everyone who attends events with more than 100 persons must show proof of being double-vaccinated.

Officials warned that Covid restrictions could be increased this winter. 

Sweden ended its last Covid curbs in September, when it removed its recommendation for working from home.

It does not have face masks that are compulsory, or force you to lock your doors like other European countries. 

But from December 1 the country is ramping up Covid restrictions to require everyone attending events of more than 100 people to confirm they are double-vaccinated. 

Anders Tegnell — Sweden’s chief epidemiologist and the architect of its no lockdown approach — has warned more restrictions may be needed to curb the spread of the virus.

He stated yesterday that “if we continue to have low pressure from virus, which we just now have, then maybe we can prove vaccination.” [for larger public gatherings]It would suffice.

‘But experiences from many other European countries — the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria — suggest that if the spread of the virus increases, then this is not enough.’

Sweden has the highest vaccine intake in Western Europe. The virus has been administered to 68.7% of the population.

It is slightly higher than the UK (67.5% double-jabbed), but lower than other countries like Spain (80.2%) and the Netherlands (73.5%). Austria’s vaccine intake is 63.9 percent.

Sweden offers booster shots starting at six months following the last dose to over-65s. The plan is to eventually expand this program to include all 16-year olds. The country has started to offer jabs to children 12 to 15, although there are no reports of high uptake.

Britain, by comparison, offers first jabs to 12- to 15-year olds as well as booster doses for those over 40. This roll-out could be extended, according to some suggestions.

Sweden is following a different course than the other European countries during the pandemic. It relying on the citizens of the country to make informed decisions in the first wave, rather than locking them down.

It imposed additional restrictions last winter, bringing it in line with other European countries. These included limiting access to outdoor cinemas, markets and concerts and reducing the hours of bars.

MailOnline spoke to Dr Raghib Ali, an epidemiologist from Cambridge University. He said that whether you believe Sweden’s strategy is a success depends on which other countries it has been compared to.

If you believe it should be at a similar rate [of Covid deaths]To its neighbors Denmark, Norway, Finland and Denmark?

“Whichever party you choose to stand on determines whether the outcome was better or worse.”

Dr Ali explained that Sweden’s voluntary lockdown system shows that even small changes in behavior can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

“Sweden did not have a government-enforced lockdown but it had a form of voluntary lockdown that was very well adhered to.

“What we learned from Sweden (and the UK) is that individuals’ voluntary behaviour can bring countries to a peak without mandating restrictions. This even though it cannot prevent large-scale outbreaks.

Austria made today the compulsory vaccination of all citizens with Covid and placed a nationwide lockdown.

Alexander Schallenberg, the Chancellor, said that every 8.9million resident will be required to have received two doses of Covid vaccine. Or face ‘penalties.’ The requirement is not applicable to children younger than 12, as the government does not offer jabs for them.

Everyone will be unable to leave their home starting Monday due to lockdown. All non-essential shops and most schools will also be closed.

Unvaccinated people were previously prohibited from going to work or leaving the house.

A mere 63.9 percent are currently vaccinated against this virus in Austria, which is the least populous country in Europe. 

It’s a shocking news announcement as Europe is currently experiencing its worst ever Covid Wave. On Wednesday, 310,000 people were infected. It was a record number, surpassing the 290,000.

After imposing a midnight curfew on hospitality companies, Ireland placed its hospitals in a “war footing”. Routine operations were put on hold to allow Covid patients to take over, amid warnings that intensive care facilities will face “unimaginable” choices about who they care for.

In Germany, nearly 30million shots must be given in order to prevent the worst effects of winter waves.