Sweden extends coronavirus measures for schools, restaurants and public transport

PM Stefan Lofven

Sweden's government on Thursday announced updates to some of its key coronavirus measures, including relating to upper secondary schools, alcohol sales and face masks on public transport, news wires reported. “We can see a cautious downturn in the spread of infection in some regions, but the situation remains serious,” PM Stefan Lofven told reporters at a news conference.

The current recommendation for upper secondary schools to switch to remote learning was extended until 1 April, but adapted so that schools may have some parts of teaching in-person, in combination with distance learning. The decision is up to the managers of the school, which might be the municipality or a school board in the case of independent schools, and should be based on the level of infection in the area.

The ban on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants after 8pm was extended for a further two weeks, until at least 7 February. The maximum number of people who can sit at one table in a restaurant or bar remains the same at four.

Municipalities and regions are urged to keep non-essential public services closed until at least 7 February. This includes for example swimming pools and museums.

The recommendation to wear face masks on public transport meanwhile was extended "for the rest of the spring". This currently applies between 7-9am and 4-6pm on weekdays, and is not legally binding.

"Making it possible for staff to work from home is the most important thing an employer can do right now," Lofven also said.

On Wednesday, Sweden registered 4,702 new cases, well down on a daily peak in late December. In total, there have been 10,797 COVID-related deaths in Sweden, a rate per capita many times higher than that of Norway, Finland and Denmark, but lower than some European countries that opted for lockdowns.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles