The anti-coronavirus measures in force in Sweden will be extended until June 1 due to a comparatively high numbers of new infections, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced at a press conference in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Even though the number of infections is decreasing on a national level, they are still at a high level. Originally, the relaxation had been planned for May 17.
Sweden followed its own path in the coronavirus crisis, attracting a lot of attention.
The Scandinavians opted for restrictions on public life that were not as strict and instead relied more on recommendations and appeals to the common sense of citizens.
Nevertheless, certain measures have also been introduced in Sweden, including an attendance cap for events and gatherings limited to no more than eight people.
After 1 June, certain changes are to be made to this limit, for example for sporting events.
In certain cases, such as football matches in large stadiums with seating, up to 500 spectators will then be possible, Culture and Sport Minister Amanda Lind announced.
According to the national health authority, restaurants, pubs and cafes will from then on be allowed to stay open until a maximum of 10:30 pm, two hours longer than at present.
A decision on this is to be made next week.
If one looks at the latest comparative figures of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Sweden continues to have one of the highest numbers of new infections of all countries in the European Economic Area when calculated per population.
In the last week of April and the first week of May, Sweden had a 14-day incidence rate of around 559 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 274 in Germany, for example.