05 June 2020

Physical distancing is important to slow the spread of the coronavirus. A new research project led by LiU researcher Per Nilsen will study the provisions relating to physical distancing: how have they been justified, how have official bodies provided information, and how they have been complied with by the public in Denmark and Sweden.

Picture of footprint.

Per Nilsen“Media reporting about the different strategies adopted by different countries has been massive, but the picture they give is often simplified and presented in terms of black and white. We plan to investigate what has actually been done, and how it has been justified and received”, says Professor Per Nilsen of the Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences.

The project is a collaboration between a group of Danish researchers at Aarhus University and Hvidovre Hospital, and researchers at the Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences (HMV) and the Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning (IBL) at LiU.

“The methods chosen by Denmark and Sweden in the fight against the spread of infection have been different, which makes the project particularly interesting and important”, says Per Nilsen.

He points out that relatively little research has been carried out into different forms of social distancing. He hopes that the project will add to knowledge about the best ways to implement policies to reduce the spread of infection in future pandemics.

“It may involve, for example, identifying the ways in which public acceptance and compliance with various policy measures for physical distancing can be increased.”

The project has just started and will continue until the summer of 2022.

Translated by George Farrants


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