Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has taken its own approach, choosing to implement less stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 than most other countries.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven previously said Sweden is pursuing a “common sense” approach that will keep the country operating, while also protecting its most vulnerable.

“I feel confident in the overall strategy,” Lofven said last week. “One reason that we have chosen this strategy, and where we have supported the agencies, is that all measures have to be sustainable over time.”

The country has banned gatherings of more than 50 people, closed high schools, colleges and universities, and has urged isolation for citizens over the age of 70 or for those with underlying medical conditions who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.

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That means elementary schools, most restaurants and most businesses have remained open. The decision to do so has drawn criticism.

Why has Sweden been criticized and has the country’s approach been effective? Here’s a look at what’s going on.

3:30Coronavirus around the world: May 3,

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