The World Health Organization has been generous with its praise throughout this pandemic. China, Singapore and Ireland have all received plaudits for their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Now that a new turning point is in sight, with the infection’s spread slowing and draconian lockdown measures being gradually lifted, the WHO is promoting the Swedish way of doing things. "Sweden represents a future model. ... If we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” the WHO’s Mike Ryan said, praising the way Swedes are trusted to "self-regulate.”

Sweden’s hands-off approach to lockdown has certainly been different to that of other countries, from France and Italy to the United States and China. Large public gatherings are banned, but restaurants, bars and schools have stayed open, and social distancing is encouraged rather than enforced by police.