Sweden Adopts Tighter COVID Measures as Cases Soar

Sweden Adopts Tighter COVID Measures as Cases Soar

Sweden is switching to a stricter measure to regulate coronavirus restrictions, having relied on a more relaxed approach prior, bringing its approach more at par with the rest of Europe.

This after Swedish politicians on Friday approved a bill granting the executive department the power to impose tighter measures such as closing shops and public transport, as well as limit gatherings in public places such as parks, gyms, sports facilities, as well as events and businesses that operate premises for parties, when deemed necessary, The Independent reported.

The law will come into effect on Sunday, January 10.

Those found breaching social distancing guidelines will face a penalty, the report said.

In a television interview after the approval, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that the law, originally for implementation in March when virus cases were expected to spike, will be imposed imminently.

“We see a great risk that we will be in a difficult situation for some time ahead,” he said.

“Of course, that means the pandemic law should be utilized, and we will use it in the near term,” he added.

Health Minister Lena Hallengren was quoted as saying: “This is first and foremost about measures to hinder the spread of the virus, but without imposing unnecessary limits on things that can be done without risking infection.”

As of press time, Sweden reported 490,000 confirmed virus cases while the death toll was at 9,433.

Meanwhile, opposition politicians criticized the government for its “slow” move to introduce the legislation, which broadens its ability to cope with the second wave of cases.

The country had until recently followed a largely voluntary approach to virus precautions such as social distancing, school closures, and the mandatory wearing of masks.

Bloomberg quoted Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell as saying that the country sees no sign of decreasing virus cases, adding “we have a lot of patients being admitted to intensive care units.”

“Unfortunately, the same goes for fatalities,” he said.

Photo from Helena Jankovicova Kovacova/Pixabay

newsletter
Join our mailing list and never miss an update !
Italy set for Justice Reform After Pressure From Brussels

Italy set for Justice Reform After Pressure From Brussels

After decades of discussion, the judiciary in Italy is now to be reformed. The aim is to speed up court proceedings, which often take years. For decades Italy has been tinkering

The Delta Variant Exposes Europe’s Urgent Need for Covid-19 Treatments

The Delta Variant Exposes Europe’s Urgent Need for Covid-19 Treatments

The French government has announced severe new restrictions on the unvaccinated come August after the Delta variant surged to represent more than 70% of the Covid-19 infections

Ireland Records Strong Flow of Overseas Investment for First Half of 2021

Ireland Records Strong Flow of Overseas Investment for First Half of 2021

Ireland has recorded strong growth in inward investment for the first half of 2021, according to figures released by IDA Ireland, the Government’s inward investment agency. Figures released show plans