The measures follow similar decisions taken by the city of Gothenburg to close museums and its main library on Monday, and to close its public swimming pools and ice rinks on October 30th.
As of Thursday, every region in Sweden has now been issued with local coronavirus recommendations. Most of these, including those in place in the three biggest cities, advise residents to stay away from indoor environments such as public swimming pools, museums, and gyms (as well as shops).
The final decision on whether to close public facilities is up to municipal councils, and several have now done just that.
“We want to play our part in pushing back the infection,” said Malmö's leisure director Johan Hermansson at a digital press conference. “This is the best way to help make sure there are no places where the infection can spread.”
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“Get your exercise outside. Visit Stockholm stadium for example and run a few rounds of the track, or get some gloves on and visit some of the city's outdoor gyms,” said Karin Ernlund, one of the Stockholm city councillors announcing the measure.
In its press release announcing the measures, Stockholm said it would extend its recent ban on visits to elderly care facilities to sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and would also close municipal places for the elderly people until December 13th.
In its statement Malmö said that it did not yet want to put in place a ban on visits to elderly care facilities, despite a government decision on Thursday making this possible.
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Skansen, the zoo, amusement park and open air museum on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm, also on Friday announced that it would close from November 27th for the first time in 129 years.
All three cities are restricting the use of libraries, with Gothenburg on Monday announcing that it is closing its main City Library and Malmö announcing on Friday that it will close its City Archives.
Most libraries in all three cities will remain open, however, for people wishing to borrow and return books, and also for those wanting use other services.
“Libraries and citizen's offices will remain open for those who really need them,” Stockholm City wrote in its press statement. But it advised everyone who could to borrow books digitally, or delay visits to libraries if possible.
The City of Malmö removed all seats from its libraries earlier this month, and has informed citizens that “for now, the library is not a meeting place”.
The city has also limited the number of visitors to its various libraries from as few as ten in smaller libraries to 50 in the main city library.
Stockholm also advised parents to avoid crowded playgrounds and instead to take their children for walks in forests and parks if possible.