Sweden Shuts Upper Secondary Schools as Restrictions Escalate

Sweden will close all of its upper secondary schools, or gymnasier, for one month as part of a package of renewed measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the nationwide closure as “necessary,” saying “There will be a day when things return to normal, but that day isn’t here yet.’

The move to online education reverses a policy decision from May, when the government said that high school and university students could return as normal in the fall semester. It said at the time that people up to 19 years of age are less affected by the virus.

“It was possible to slow down the infection during the spring,” Sweden’s Public Health Agency General-Director Johan Carlson said at Thursday’s press conference in Stockholm. “And it will be possible again.”

The latest development comes amid signs the country faces a dangerous winter with the pandemic. In recent weeks the government has rolled out new measures including a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people, as well as younger children staying home when a member of the household becomes infected.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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