Sweden Extends Alcohol Serving Ban Amid ‘Serious’ Covid Levels
A barman pours a glass of beer from a tap in a restaurant. (Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg)

Sweden Extends Alcohol Serving Ban Amid ‘Serious’ Covid Levels

Sweden extended a ban on serving alcohol at restaurants as the coronavirus situation in the country “remains serious,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.

The alcohol ban after 8 p.m. was pushed back to Feb. 7, while a recommendation to wear face masks in public transport during rush hours was prolonged through spring, Lofven and the Health & Social Affairs Minister, Lena Hallengren, told reporters in Stockholm on Thursday.

Lofven’s government won the right to shutter businesses and fine citizens that fail to comply with tougher restrictions under a new temporary law passed earlier this month. Last week, the death toll from Covid-19 in Sweden passed 10,000, which is considerably higher than elsewhere in the Nordic region.

The government is “ready to do more” if the measures prove insufficient and also to use the new pandemic law for further restrictions, Hallengren said.

Still, the government eased some recommendations, including a gradual re-opening of upper secondary schools from Jan. 25, with at least 20% learning on-site.

There is “a certain improvement in several parts of the country,” but the situation is “so unstable that no major changes should be made regarding regulations,” Johan Carlson, director general of the Public Health Authority, said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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