All restaurants and cafes in Sweden will have to close at 8:30 pm on Monday in accordance with new rules announced by the Public Health Agency.
This is reported by The Local.
The regulation will apply regardless of whether the establishments serve alcohol. Sweden previously prohibited bars and restaurants from serving alcohol after 8 pm, but a loophole in the law allowed them to stay open much longer in the evening. Now they will have to completely close their doors at 20:30.
The agency also proposes to further reduce the maximum number of people allowed in stores and supermarkets and encourages everyone to shop alone rather than with family or friends.
вЂњAfter a year with this virus, we know that we must keep our distance. This is the most effective measure to contain the spread of the virus. Now is not the time to relax. Prime Minister Stefan Leuven said at a press conference on Wednesday.
As you know, Sweden used more voluntary measures during the pandemic than many other countries, arguing that they are easier to maintain over a longer period of time. But in recent months, it has tightened its restrictions step by step, including the Pandemic Act, which allows certain types of businesses to close.
Sweden has seen an increase in the number of cases for two consecutive weeks, with an incidence rate of 445 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days.
Some regions, such as Stockholm, have introduced regional measures, including a call for people to always wear face masks on public transport and in close contact.
To date, there are 647,470 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Sweden, and 12,793 people have died after testing positive.