Officials in Halmstad, Sweden, recently forced a teacher to take off his mask and banned the use of masks in schools, writes inews.co.uk. The municipality said there was no scientific evidence for wearing masks, citing the Swedish public health agency. At the time, the agency’s guide showed that there was a “high risk” that the masks would be misused.
These recommendations have since been removed.
Sweden was one of the few countries that did not accept quarantine in the spring of 2020, focusing on a different approach to acquiring herd immunity.
For someone unfamiliar with the Swedish response to Covid-19, this mask ban might seem shocking. After all, although masks are not infallible, there is evidence that they help reduce the spread of Covid-19, especially in situations where it is impossible to keep your distance – such as schools.
Finally, the municipality gave back. But there are new examples of a ban on masks in Sweden. Librarians in Kungsbacka, for example, have been instructed to stop wearing masks. Officials in Halmstad and Kungsbacka say their decisions are in line with the Swedish public health agency’s statements. These local bans on wearing a mask are the logical consequence of the Swedish government’s nine months of anti-mask statements.
“Outside of Sweden, most Europeans are now accustomed to wearing masks indoors, whether in the supermarket, on public transport or when going to the doctor. It has become such an ingrained habit that we can easily forget that in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us did not wear masks at all. In those early days, the main message was quite simple “wash your hands” and rather difficult “do not touch your face,” the publication writes.
Sweden’s leading infectious disease expert said in the summer that it was “very dangerous” if people believed that wearing masks would stop the spread of coronavirus. Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at the Swedish Public Health Agency, has repeatedly expressed skepticism about masks as a way to prevent the transmission of the virus. Moreover, he claimed that in countries where the mask is mandatory, such as Belgium and Spain, the rate of illness continues to rise, according to The New York Post.