More Swedish regions introduce stricter coronavirus measures

More Swedish regions introduce stricter coronavirus measures
A person waits at a bus stop with a sign warning them to keep distance in Stockholm. Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT
Four more Swedish regions have introduced stricter local coronavirus measures on Tuesday, with the exact details varying slightly betweeen each region.

Three new regions – Kalmar, Norrbotten and Västerbotten – rolled out recommendations put together by the Public Health Agency after consultation with local leaders, while Blekinge in the southeast introduced its own recommendations.

According to the new guidelines, which are outlined on the Public Health Agency's website and are effective immediately, everyone in Kalmar, Norrbotten and Västerbotten is strongly urged to:

  • If possible, avoid close contact with people other than those you live with, including social events and other activities involving close contact (such as contact sport or health or beauty treatments carried out for a non-medical reason)
     
  • Avoid indoor environments like shops, shopping malls, museums, libraries, swimming pools and gyms. An exception applies to necessary visits to, for example, grocery stores and pharmacies
     
  • Refrain from attending, for example, meetings, concerts, performances, sports training, matches and competitions. This advisory does not apply to sports training for children born 2005 or later.

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People in Västerbotten and Norrbotten are also strongly urged to avoid all non-essential travel. That includes journeys within and between regions, although not if the travel is necessary for commuting to work than cannot be done remotely, travelling to a place of study or for healthcare.

All the above recommendations are currently in place until at least December 8th, but may be extended beyond that.

With these additions, that means 13 of Sweden's 21 regions are currently subject to stricter restrictions issued by the Public Health Agency (allmänna råd or 'general recommendations'). These are not legally binding, so there are no fines for violating them, but are at the same time not considered optional and do have a basis in the Communicable Diseases Act.

In addition, the region of Blekinge has introduced its own recommendations, to be followed alongside the Public Health Agency's national recommendations. These included:

  • Socialise only with people you normally see every day, your own family or people you live with. Don't attend parties, dinners, afterwork or other private events.
     
  • Stay at home. Don't travel unless absolutely necessary, except to travel to and from work, studies or healthcare.
     
  • Don't visit shopping centres, museums, swimming pools or gyms, where there is a risk of crowding. Essential visits to grocery stores and pharmacies are the exception.
     
  • Don't attend meetings, concerts, shows, sports training, matches or competitions. The exception is (to take part in) professional sports and sports training for children born 2005 or later. Exercise outdoors as far as it is possible.

The recommendations in Blekinge also reiterated some of the national recommendations, including work from home if possible and avoid public transport if possible. They come into effect on November 11th and at the time of writing apply until November 30th, but could be extended or be replaced by allmänna råd by the Public Health Agency.


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