The week in pictures: People in Sweden warned to keep social distancing despite spring sunshine

The week in pictures: People in Sweden warned to keep social distancing despite spring sunshine
Warm temperatures brought many people in Sweden outdoors this week, but there are strict warnings to continue following social distancing guidelines. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
In a week where Sweden's prime minister issued a stark warning to the population that coronavirus restrictions will remain in place for months and may yet get stricter, these pictures give a glimpse into the impact that the coronavirus has had on people's lives across the country.


Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT

A new section has been added to the field hospital in Älvsjö, south of Stockholm, where family members will be able to say final goodbyes to loved ones.

Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter carried nine pages of obituaries last Sunday, compared to just four on an average Sunday. 

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Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Buses in the southern region of Skåne have closed off the front entrance, asking all passengers to use the back door, a few weeks after similar measures were introduced in Stockholm.


Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Microbiologist Jonas Björkman with a new kind of test which is set to be used on care personnel in Skåne. These tests should also be able to show if someone has previously had the virus, in addition to whether they currently have it.


Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen and representatives of Swedish state agencies held a special press conference on the coronavirus this week — inviting children to ask questions, rather than journalists.


Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Aikido training takes place outdoors in Stockholm. The Public Health Agency has advised avoiding close contact sports and exercise, and to choose an outdoor rather than indoor location where possible.


Photo: Ali Lorestani/TT

People mostly stand spread out while waiting for a bus in Uppsala.


Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A barber cuts a customer's hair outdoors in Malmö, both wearing face masks, a sign of how daily life has changed in Sweden during the outbreak.


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

State alcohol monopoly Systembolaget has put up signs warning customers that vodka should not be used as a replacement for hand sanitiser — the alcohol content isn't high enough to be effective.


Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Customers queue down the street for a closing-down sale after a shop in Södermalm, Stockholm files for bankruptcy. 


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

In Stockholm, many parts of the city are far emptier than usual and people have clearly been attempting to keep a distance from others…


Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

… but elsewhere, there are large groups of people in the capital's restaurants, parks and shopping streets.


Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

For children, football training can continue mostly as usual, although the coach has to ensure no one who has recently been unwell attends the training, and that regulations are followed which means no more than 50 people in one venue and no crowded environments. Here is the boys' team in Lerum, Västra Götaland.


Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Skåne's bright yellow rapeseed fields have bloomed record early this year. The fields are a symbol of the region, but this year the early bloom is not only concerning as a possible sign of climate change, but also because of fears warm weather might mean fewer people follow social distancing guidelines. 

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What should you be doing to help reduce the rate of infection?

In Sweden, the official advice requires everyone to:

  • Stay at home if you have any cold- or flu-like symptoms, even if they are mild and you would normally continue life as normal. Stay at home until you have been fully symptom-free for at least two days.
     
  • Practise good hygiene, by regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, using hand sanitiser when that's not possible, and covering any coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
     
  • Keep distance from all other people when in public places. That includes shops, parks, museums, and on the street, for example. The World Health Organisation recommends keeping at least a 1.5-2 metre distance.
     
  • Avoid large gatherings, including parties, weddings, and other activities.
     
  • Work from home if you can. Employers have been asked to ensure this happens where possible.
     
  • Avoid all non-essential travel, both within and outside Sweden. That includes visits to family, planned holidays, and any other trips that can be avoided.
     
  • If you have to travel, avoid busy times such as rush hour if you can. This reduces the number of people on public transport and makes it easier for people to keep their distance.
     
  • If you are over 70 or belong to a high-risk group, you should stay at home and reduce all social contacts. Avoid going to the shops (get groceries delivered or try to find someone who can help you), but you can go outside if you keep distance from other people. Read more about the help available to those in risk groups here.
     
  • By following these precautions, we can all help to protect those who are most at risk and to reduce the rate of infection, which in turn reduces the burden on Sweden's healthcare sector.
     
  • Read more detail about the precautions we should all be taking in this paywall-free article. Advice in English is also available from Sweden's Public Health Agency and the World Health Organisation.


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