Sweden brings in local coronavirus measures to more regions

Sweden brings in local coronavirus measures to more regions
Swedish health officials at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
Sweden on Thursday rolled out local coronavirus measures to Dalarna, Gotland, Värmland and Västmanland.

With these additions, that means 17 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. The Blekinge region has also introduced its own regional recommendations.

Effective immediately, the local recommendations mean that people in the four regions are urged to:

  • If possible, avoid having physical contact with other people than those you live with. That includes among other things a recommendation against organising or attending a party or similar social occasion. You should also avoid certain kinds of activities if they cannot be carried out without physical distance to others, such as contact sports or health or beauty care that is not medically justified.
  • Refrain from being in indoor environment such as shops, shopping centres, museums, libraries, swimming pools and gyms, with the exception of for example grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Refrain from taking part in meetings, concerts, shows, sports training, matches or competitions. This does not apply to sports training for children and young people born 2005 or later.

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People living in Dalarna, Värmland and Västmanland are also urged to:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Travelling within or between regions could contribute to increased spread of infection because you often meet new people, which starts new chains of transmission. You should therefore, as far as it is possible, refrain from such travel. This recommendation is not intended to prevent people from, for example, going to work, studies/employment or healthcare which requires physical presence.

Businesses, organisations, and workplaces in the four regions are also told to take measures to ensure that visitors or employees are able to follow the recommendations. This could include limiting the number of visitors and making sure staff can work from home, postponing business trips, conferences or other meetings.

The decision comes as many regions across Sweden are reporting both an increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus and increased pressure on the healthcare sector. To date, 171,365 people have tested positive, and of those 6,122 have died and 2,881 have at some point been admitted to intensive care.

“We have a community spread in most regions in Sweden today. It's a different situation from spring when it was more local,” Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told the health authorities' biweekly press conference

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