King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia, his wife, tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening, the Swedish Royal Court said in a statement Tuesday.
The king, who is 75, and the queen, who is 78, “have mild symptoms and feel well under the circumstances,” the statement said. Both were fully vaccinated and had received booster shots.
The statement said the royal couple had “isolated themselves in the home in accordance with current rules of conduct, and infection tracking is ongoing.”
Sweden has been something of an outlier in Europe in its response to the pandemic. While other European nations were imposing lockdowns in March 2020, hoping to flatten a steeply rising curve of new infections, Sweden kept the country open and asked residents to follow health precautions voluntarily.
Though Sweden remained better off than some countries that enforced strict lockdowns, the early months of the pandemic were far deadlier in Sweden than in many of its neighbors, and by December 2020 King Carl XVI Gustaf was calling the nation’s coronavirus policies a failure because of the lost lives.
Since then, Sweden has seen major surges in cases in the winter and spring of 2021, and new cases are soaring again now as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads in much of the world.