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Sweden imposes stricter restrictions, banning public events with more than 8 people

Sweden imposes stricter restrictions, banning public events with more than 8 people
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Swedish officials are prohibiting public gatherings of more than eight people, becoming the latest European country to introduce new restrictions as coronavirus cases surge.

During the initial wave of the virus in the spring, Sweden imposed few restrictions compared to other Western nations. More recently, in October, it responded to the second wave by creating a process for voluntary citywide lockdowns, according to MarketWatch.

However, on Monday, Swedish officials announced those measures would instead have the force of law under the country’s Public Order Act. Events had previously been restricted to 50 before being expanded to 300 in some scenarios.

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“It’s going to get worse. Do your duty and take responsibility to stop the spread of infection,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said, according to the news outlet.

“There should not be social situations with more than eight people even if they are not formally affected by the law. This is the new norm for the whole society, for all of Sweden,” he added. “Don’t go to the gym. Don’t go to the library. Don’t have dinners. Don’t have parties. Cancel.”

Sweden reached a peak of 5,764 new daily infections last week, with 177,355 total cases as of Monday and 6,1164 deaths.

In June, epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who was responsible for managing the country’s pandemic response, said Sweden should have imposed more stringent national restrictions.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Tegnell said.