Sweden’s government on Monday presented a temporary pandemic law giving it new powers to curb the spread of COVID-19, which it said it hoped to have in place by January.
The government, which has controversially relied on mostly non-coercive measures during the pandemic, said the new law would enable it to close down businesses, shopping malls or public transport.
It would also be able to impose limits on the number of people allowed in specific public places, rather than general restrictions on public gatherings.
“Those who violate restrictions that limit access to public places can be sentenced to a monetary fine,” Health Minister Lena Hallengren told a press conference.
The government said it wanted to have the law in place by January 10, but it will first need to be approved by parliament.
Sweden has made headlines around the world for its decision to combat the spread of the virus with mostly non-coercive measures and never imposing the type of lockdown seen elsewhere around Europe.
Health authorities have insisted that battling the pandemic is “a marathon, not a sprint,” and measures have to be sustainable for the long haul.
Coronavirus: Sweden confirms first case of virus variant in visitor from UKThe new variant of coronavirus linked to a rapid rise in infections in Britain has been detected in Sweden after a traveler from the United Kingdom ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Sweden extends ban on UK flights until 2021 due to new strain fearsSwedish authorities have decided to extend a ban on flights from Britain until the new year over fears of a new COVID strain spreading in the United ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Sweden stands by COVID-19 strategy despite tighter measuresSweden is continuing to pursue the same strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a recent slew of stricter measures, Prime Minister Stefan ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Sweden does U-turn on face masks to combat COVID-19Sweden on Friday did a U-turn on face masks, recommending that they be worn on public transport at peak times, having previously resisted their use in ... Coronavirus