File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
The government also urged citizens to maintain social distance and wear face masks while stepping out
After the new strains of coronavirus have been found in several countries, Sweden's government has issued temporary rules to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The new restrictions will bring limitations on the number of people to gather in specific public places, and will drop the old general restrictions on public gatherings. The new rules will be imposed from January 10 after the government approves the final draft.
This new law will also enable the government to temporarily shutdown several businesses, shopping malls, leisure and entertainment venues and public transports. "Those who violate restrictions that limit access to public places can be sentenced to a monetary fine," Health Minister Lena Hallengren said in a press conference.
The new restrictions have come after months of non-coercive methods imposed by the Swedish government. However, with an alarming increase in the coronavirus cases in the country, the local government and the health experts decided to impose stricter guidelines.
Decision of shutting down establishments has also been taken to make sure the new strain of coronavirus, first found in the United Kingdom, does not spread in Sweden. As of now, several countries such as Italy, UK, South Africa, Canada and a few more have reported new variants of the novel coronavirus.
As of now, all public and private gatherings are allowed to have a maximum of eight members only. The government also urged citizens to maintain social distance and wear face masks while stepping out. This is the first time such an order has been issued as the government always believed the COVID-19 measures should be "a marathon, not a sprint".
Till December 23, Swede has reported nearly 396,048 coronavirus cases with almost 8,279 deaths.
The announcement has also come at a time when the European Un ion countries have started mass vaccination drive from Sunday after the EU regulatory body approved emergency usage of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.