Sweden permits public gatherings of up to 500 people
World

Sweden permits public gatherings of up to 500 people

By IANS

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Sweden's Public Health Agency has recommended raising the maximum number of people allowed at public gatherings from 50 to 500, a move welcomed especially by organizers of sports and cultural events.

In a consultation response submitted to the government on Thursday, the Public Health Agency also recommended that participants in public events should be seated and keep a one-metre distance in order to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread, reports Xinhua news agency. 

In a statement published on its website, the Agency pointed out that the 50-person limit imposed in March involved a severe restriction on the right of assembly but that it was necessary in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Restaurants and malls were not subject to the 50-person limit, something that raised criticism from events organisers.

Even under the new rules, such organizers will have to keep audience numbers below 500 since the figure includes everyone present at an event.

That means musicians playing in a concert or football players taking part in a match will be counted as part of the total 500. The Agency believes that the maximum number of people allowed at public gatherings could be increased at a later point, depending on how the epidemic develops.

So far, Sweden has recorded a total of 83,898 confirmed cases, with 5,820 deaths. The total number of people admitted to ICU through the course of the pandemic is now 2,564.

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