The Swedish government warned Wednesday of possible local lockdowns for the first time in the pandemic as it fears a new wave following an increase of cases in some regions after weeks of a relatively stable spread of the coronavirus.
“The situation is still serious,” Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren said. “There is a clear risk of a third wave.”
In recent weeks, nationwide numbers in Sweden have been dropping slowly but certain regions are now on the rise.
She added that Sweden didn’t plan a shutdown today but “we do not intend to wait until it is too late.”
Last month, the Swedish parliament adopted a temporary COVID-19 -pandemic law that would allow, among other things, the closing of shopping centers and shops, and a halt to public transport and public activities to curb the spread of the virus. Those breaking it would face a fine.
Sweden has so far adopted reasonably mild coronavirus restrictions without enforced lockdowns and relied mainly on citizens’ own social distancing and other measures to fight the pandemic.