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Coronavirus: Sweden to ban sale of alcohol after 10pm to curb virus spread

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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