Sweden delays Covid-19 restrictions relaxation

Sweden delayed until 1 June Covid-19 restrictions relaxation due to the relatively high number of new cases, news wires reported. The current limit of eight people at public events will only be lifted after that date at the earliest, as the government once again postponed the planned easing of its Covid-19 measures.

“Even though we can see a small reduction at the national level, the spread of infection is still at a high level,” said PM Stefan Löfven at a press conference on Wednesday. This means that the current maximum limit of eight people at public events, first introduced in November, remains in place. This applies to sport and cultural events as well as demonstrations and religious services.

Under the proposed relaxation, different limits would have applied based on whether the event was indoors or outdoors, with seated or standing participants. For indoor events without assigned seating, the default limit would remain at eight, but this would be raised to up to 50 for indoor events with assigned seating, up to 100 for outdoor events without assigned seating, and up to 500 for outdoor events with assigned seating.

The relaxation was planned to come into effect from 17 May, after being postponed twice already. Now the plan is that these changes will come into force from 1 June, but whether that happens is dependent on the spread of infection and burden on the healthcare sector.

Löfven said that when it happens, this will be “the first step in the government’s work to adapt and adjust the restrictions as the situation allows”. “If everyone follows the restrictions and recommendations that are in place, and if the vaccinations go as they should, it is likely that we will return to a more normal situation in September,” he said.

It was announced that from 1 June, restaurants, bars and pubs will be able to open until 10.30pm, two hours later than the current closing time of 8.30pm. Again this is dependent on the level of infection at that time.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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