Sweden introduces restrictions on private events

Stockholm, Jan 9 (IANS) Sweden has introduced a maximum limit for private events as Covid-19 infections have continued to soar.

The new rules unveiled on Friday allow a maximum of eight people at private events in, for example, a party room, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said at a press conference on Friday.

Indoor venues such as gyms, bath-houses and shops will also have strict capacity limitations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lofven stressed that measures of closing down department stores and malls could kick in if the risk of infections is considered high and existing restrictions deemed insufficient.

Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren explained that the new rule requires anyone who conducts such an activity to calculate the maximum number of visitors or customers who may stay on the premises at the same time.

The calculation is based on one person per 10 square meters.

The restrictions apply to private events held in commercially hired venues.

The new measures came just hours after the Swedish Parliament passed a new temporary law that gives the government power to impose more restrictive measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The law is scheduled come into force from Sunday until the end of September.

According to statistics from the Public Health Agency, 7,187 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, increasing the tally to 489,471.

Meanwhile, 171 new deaths were registered in the same period, taking the toll to 9,433.

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