This is The Local's own translation of the prime minister's televised address to the nation at 9.15pm on March 22nd, translated quickly after the broadcast so we apologise about any errors. If the government releases an official English translation, we will share that. You can read the full speech in Swedish here.
Tonight I want to turn directly to you, the Swedish people.
The new coronavirus is testing our country, our society and us as human beings.
Each and everyone needs to prepare mentally for what lies ahead.
The infection is spreading in Sweden. Life, health and jobs are threatened. More people will fall ill, more will have to bid a loved one their last farewell.
The only way of handling this, is to face the crisis as a society where everyone takes responsibility for themselves, for each other and for our country.
I know many are worried. Worried about how our society is going to cope. Worried for yourself, for someone you love who belongs to a risk group, or that you will lose your job.
I understand that. The next few months will be stressful. But our society is strong.
Our authorities are working hard, day and night. Staff in healthcare services, schools and many, many other people in important jobs are supporting our country. I as prime minister, the government I lead, will make every decision needed to protect as many people's lives, health and jobs, to every extent possible.
In Sweden, public gatherings for more than 500 people have been banned, and upper secondary school and university education is now being conducted remotely.
I want you to be prepared for more decisions to intervene, sometimes at short notice, sometimes interfering with everyday life even more.
READ MORE about the coronavirus in Sweden:
The goal of the government's work is to limit the spread of infection, so that a lot of people will not be ill at the same time. But also to secure resources for healthcare services, and to mitigate the consequences for workers and for our businesses in these tough times.
Be prepared for the fact that this will last a long time. Be ready for the situation changing quickly.
But you should also know that as a society we are facing this crisis with our united strength.
We all have great individual responsibility.
There are a few crucial moments in life when you have to make sacrifices, not only for your own sake but also in order to take responsibility for the people around you, for your fellow human beings, and for our country.
That moment is now. That day is here. And that duty belongs to everyone.
Each and everyone of us has a responsibility to prevent the spread of infection, to protect the elderly and other risk groups.
Nobody should take chances. Not one of us can go to work with symptoms. Young, old, rich or poor does not matter – everyone needs to do their part.
This also applies to you who are aged over 70 or belong to another risk group. I understand that it is frustrating to have to limit your life, your social contacts, but right now it is necessary. For the sake of your own health, of course, but also to protect other people and to give the healthcare services the opportunity to cope with the situation.
And we who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumours.
No one is alone in this crisis, but each person has a heavy responsibility. Every one.
I know that these are great demands. But it is the only way we can limit the spread of infection.
I know that some restrictions are strenuous. But this is how we can ensure that the healthcare system is able to handle the crisis.
I know that the situation may feel tough. But following the advice of our public authorities is each person's duty. Yours, too – and mine.
A lot of you are taking your responsibility as fellow human beings.
You help your neighbours shop, you buy a takeaway lunch to support the local restaurant, you avoid seeing your grandmother – but instead call her for a chat every day.
That is solidarity in practice.
I am proud to be the prime minister of Sweden when I see what so many are doing for their fellow human beings.
You show that when times are at their toughest, our unity is at its strongest.
I am sure that everyone in Sweden will take their responsibility, do your utmost to protect the health of other people, help each other and therefore be able to look back on this crisis and be proud of your particular role, your efforts for your fellow human beings, for our society and for Sweden.