Mandatory stay-at-home orders and business closures may not be more effective at controlling the spread of the coronavirus than less restrictive, voluntary measures, a new study found.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sweden and South Korea did not implement mandatory lockdowns in the form of stay-at-home orders and business closures, though many people still isolated and followed measures to mitigate the spread of the virus voluntarily.

Sweden relied on "social distancing guidelines, discouraging of international and domestic travel, and a ban on large gatherings," while South Korea relied on "intensive investments in testing, contact tracing, and isolation of infected cases and close contacts."