Wednesday 5/12/21
COVID-19

Sweden extends restrictions again as case numbers stay high

Plans to relax a cap on the number of people allowed to gather and to permit events such as concerts as of 3 May have been shelved.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Photo: Reuters/file photo.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Photo: Reuters/file photo.

Sweden has again extended restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as case numbers there remain high, the prime minister said on Thursday.'

Plans to relax a cap on the number of people allowed to gather and to permit events such as concerts as of 3 May have been shelved, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a press conference.

Such easing will only be possible once the strain on the health-care system lessens and case numbers fall.

That means gatherings remain limited to 8 people, with 20 permitted at funerals.

Restrictions on restaurants, shops and gyms are also due to remain in place, according to the health authority.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will continue to close at 8:30 pm until 17 May at least.

Restrictions on the number of people allowed in shopping centres, shops and gyms are also due to remain in place.

Walpurgis night

In Sweden, municipal authorities are also able to ban gatherings in their local areas if they fear crowding.

Uppsala and Lund have already issued such bans ahead of celebrations of Walpurgis Night on 30 April, which are traditionally held on a large scale.

Sweden took a different route amid the coronavirus pandemic, imposing relatively few restrictions and instead appealing to people to behave sensibly.

However, some tougher measures were introduced there, although still less strict than in other countries in the European Union.

Then, in mid-February, Covid-19 case numbers rose in Sweden and have remained at that higher level ever since.

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