Previous Holdout Sweden Imposes Strict Lockdown

MarketWatch reports:

Sweden is switching from its voluntary lockdowns to a much more aggressive approach that will see public events of more than eight people banned.

The Nordic country was one of the few countries that didn’t go into an enforced lockdown, and has rejected the need for masks. In October, it drew up guidelines for a voluntary lockdown in cities worst hit by coronavirus.

But in a dramatic U-turn on Monday, new restrictions will no longer be a recommendation but enshrined in law as part of Sweden’s Public Order Act, which means there will be harsh penalties for violating them. Lawbreakers could face fines or up to six months in prison.

The Express reports:

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lashed out at Swedes for not following the current coronavirus recommendations in place as they were in the spring. Public gatherings are now being slashed as panic grows around a second wave sweeping throughout the country.

Mr Lofven told a news conference: “It is a clear and sharp signal to every person in our country as to what applies in the future. “Don’t go to gyms, don’t go to libraries, don’t host dinners. Cancel. Advice and recommendations went a long way this spring, but now compliance with them is lower.