Sweden’s prime minister said his government would propose to ban the sale of alcohol after 10 pm in restaurants and bars from November 20 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Sweden “currently is risking a situation like the one we had last spring,” said Stefan Lofven at a press conference on Wednesday.
The country has witnessed record numbers of new infections over the past few weeks.
“All indications point in the wrong direction,” Lofven said at a joint news conference with Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren.
Sweden was heavily criticised for what some saw as a relaxed approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring.
Unlike its neighbours, Sweden did not institute a nationwide lockdown or tough restrictions, instead keeping bars and restaurants open.
Hallengren says that all places with a permission to serve alcohol must close 30 minutes after 10 pm. She said bars and night clubs were “risk environments.”
Earlier Wednesday, the Stockholm reintroduced a ban on visiting care homes after a coronavirus spike was reported in retirement facilities in the capital.
Some have said that by watering down restrictions, the country may have avoided the “Covid fatigue” in other countries.
Sweden, a country of just over 10 million, has reported 166,707 cases and 6,082 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Lofven was self-isolating just last week after being in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
He said at the time that the country’s epidemic was “going in the wrong direction fast. More are infected. More die. This is a serious situation.”
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