Lockdown protest: Chaos on streets of Stockholm as hundreds gather in defiance of rule

Sweden: State scientist says they 'could have done better'

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As further restrictions are tightened across Sweden, hundreds gathered in the streets of the capital in protest against the lockdown measures, despite fears the country is entering its third wave of the pandemic. Swedish police dispersed the protesters and blocked a bridge in the centre of the city.

TV images showed police shoving protesters and police confirmed six officers were injured and taken to hospital.

They said: “Police have taken the decision to break up the non-authorised gathering which is ongoing.”

Fifty people were moved on under a temporary pandemic law.

According to local reports, demonstrators had travelled from several parts of the country, which imposed a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people.

Protest organiser Filip Sjöström said this week he was expecting around 2,000 people to join the demonstration, which was announced on Facebook.

On Friday, Sweden registered 4,831 cases of the virus and 26 new deaths, bringing the overall total of casualties to 13,003.

While Sweden’s death rate is lower than other European countries which opted for lockdowns, it is many times higher than its Nordic neighbours.

On Monday, Sweden’s Public Health Authority (PHA) warned the country is heading into its third coronavirus wave.

The PHA created three possible scenarios for the spread of the virus until May 2021, known as zero, one and two.

But epidemiologist Anders Tegnell warned the first scenario is already “overplayed” and warned the country is facing its third wave.

He said: “The first scenario is a bit overplayed already.

“It was assumed that we would hold back our contacts even more.

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“We do not seem to be there.

“It looks like we are really on our way to a third wave.”

The government suggested greater restrictions could possibly be introduced to curb the spread of the virus.

New restrictions which were put in place on Monday include limiting the opening hours for shops and restaurants.

The number of people allowed in shops and gyms was also slashed and a maximum of eight people are allowed to meet at one time.

Mr Tegnell proposed a maximum number of people admitted into shopping centres and department stores should be limited to just 500.

On Friday, Sweden approved the AstraZeneca vaccine – which was developed with Oxford University – to be given to people over the age of 65.

The PHA said in a statement: “There are now three studies conducted in Britain on the AstraZeneca vaccine which show it is as effective as other vaccines that have been approved and works for people even over the age of 80.”

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