The regions of Gävleborg and Västernorrland became the latest to be subject to stricter restrictions issued by the Public Health Agency (allmänna råd or 'general recommendations'), which had already been introduced in seventeen regions.
Another region, Blekinge in southern Sweden, has introduced its own measures. The content of these is similar to the allmänna råd, and neither set of restrictions is enforced through penalties for violations, but the allmänna råd do have a legal basis.
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The new sets of rules in Gävleborg and Västernorrland came into effect immediately, and are initially in place until December 13th but could be extended further. Under these restrictions, everyone in the regions is urged to:
Avoid close contact* with other people than the ones you live with. This includes among other things a ban on arranging parties or social gatherings. You should also avoid certain types of activities that can't be done without close contact, such as contact sports or beauty or healthcare treatment that is not medically motivated.
Refrain from being in indoor environments where people gather, for example shops, shopping centres, museums, libraries, swimming pools and gyms, with the exception of necessarily visits to 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. Necessary contact, for example doctor's visits, is not included in this ban.
- Refrain from unnecessary travel within the region and outside it.
Businesses, organisations, and workplaces in both 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.
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The latest measures were announced amid a sharp rise in cases of the coronavirus and the number of people receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19. The Public Health Agency shares its updates Tuesday-Friday, and on Friday 42 new deaths linked to the virus were reported, the highest number reported in several months.
*Close contact is defined by the Public Health Agency as being less than 1-1.5 metres apart from someone else.