“Everyone must follow the advice and recommendations”: faced with the worsening of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country, the Swedish government on Wednesday urged the population to follow the health rules, although they are not coercive.
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“The actions of each person, the negligence of each person have a meaning,” insisted Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, lamenting that too many Swedes believe they are authorized to circumvent the recommendations.
“Many are doing the right thing […], but some do not, ”regretted the Social Democratic leader at a press conference.
“Sadly, it looks like we are heading into a darker time in terms of the spread of infection” and “we risk experiencing the situation we had last spring,” he warned.
The executive announced Wednesday the ban on the sale of alcohol from 10 pm, from November 20 until February 2021. All establishments authorized to serve alcohol must have lowered the curtain by 10 pm h 30.
The kingdom of 10.3 million inhabitants has pursued a less strict strategy than most European countries in the face of the coronavirus, without a mask, no containment or closure of stores. “Recommendations” have the force of rules, but are not accompanied by coercive measures or sanctions.
As of Wednesday, more than 4,000 cases and 25 additional deaths were announced, bringing the total to nearly 167,000 cases and 6,082 deaths.
The incidence rate of the virus, the number of new cases reported to the population, has increased by 163%, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“At the moment, the situation is not sustainable, the pandemic will demand more of all of us, not less,” warned Minister of Health Lena Hallengren.
Faced with a second wave, authorities introduced new, more stringent regional recommendations last month, including limiting contact outside the home and avoiding closed places. They now concern most of the country.
In Stockholm and Gothenburg (west), visits to retirement homes – largely affected by the first wave of the virus – will again be prohibited.