Sweden’s leading coronavirus expert has dismissed the effectiveness of face masks as the country’s Covid-19 rates continue to tumble.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has been a staunch defender of Sweden’s controversial decision not to go into lockdown during the pandemic, even when the Swedish mortality rate far outstripped that of neighbouring Scandinavian nations like Norway and Finland, where much stricter measures were imposed.
Now, with the number of new infections having fallen rapidly over the course of July, Mr Tegnell has backed the Swedish government’s decision not to implement rigid face masks rules that could prevent a second wave.
“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” he said.
Many other European countries have been tightening rules surrounding masks in public areas in recent weeks: both Greece and Romania yesterday made them mandatory in shops and supermarkets, while Madeira is now enforcing their use on beaches and mountain walks.
Yesterday’s main headlines
Greece, Romania, Madeira impose mandatory face masks
Flights to Europe offered for as little as £1
IATA: Air travel won’t recover ‘until 2024’
Tui extends Spain cancellations
Hong Kong shuts restaurants over new outbreak
Heathrow sinks to record loss as passenger numbers plunge
Greece to lift cruise ship ban from August 1