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COVID-19: Sweden removes most restrictions, Russia reports record daily deaths

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By Euronews with AP
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A health worker administers a Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to a man at a temporary vaccination clinic in a church in Sollentuna, Sweden, Tuesday March 2, 2021.
A health worker administers a Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to a man at a temporary vaccination clinic in a church in Sollentuna, Sweden, Tuesday March 2, 2021.   -   Copyright  Fredrik Sandberg / AP
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Sweden removed most of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, despite rising case numbers.

Limits on hospitality venues, including the size of parties and distance between parties, as well as limits on numbers attending gatherings and events, whether public or private, are being scrapped.

The Health Agency’s advice to work from home is also being removed.

Sweden has been an outlier in aspects of its handling of the disease, shunning hard lockdowns throughout the pandemic.

Further south, Portugal announced it will wind up its military-led vaccine task force after reaching its target of fully inoculating 85% of the population.

In tandem with the rising number of jabs, the infection rate and hospitalisations due to the coronavirus have dropped to their lowest for almost 18 months.

Portugal could drop most of its remaining pandemic restrictions next month.

Meanwhile, coronavirus-confirmed fatalities have just hit another record in Russia with 857 new deaths announced on Wednesday.

Few restrictions are in place in the country, which had one six-week lockdown last spring. Russia's vaccination rate remains low with only 28% of its 144.4 million population now fully vaccinated.