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Sweden warns businesses not social distancing

/ 06:13 PM April 24, 2020

People gather for a drink at an outdoor bar in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, despite the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)

STOCKHOLM — Sweden threatened to close bars and restaurants that do not follow social distancing recommendations by the public health authorities.

“We see worrying reports about full outdoor dining and crowding. Let me be extremely clear. I don’t want to see any crowded outdoor restaurants in Stockholm” or elsewhere, Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told a news conference.

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The Swedish government on Friday asked the country’s 290 municipalities to report on how restaurants and cafes follow the Public Health Authority’s advice.

“These guidelines must be followed, otherwise operations will be closed,” Damberg said.

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Earlier this week, Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven said that “it is not the number of hours of sunshine or temperature that decides whether to listen to the advice of the authorities or not.”

“Don’t think for one moment that we have gone through this crisis yet,” he told a news conference.

Sweden has opted for relatively liberal policies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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