Sweden implemented a night-time alcohol sales ban after 10:00 PM, from November 20, 2020 as a measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection. From December 24, 2020 the ban was extended to 8:00 PM. The new stricter alcohol sales ban is set to last till January 24, 2021.
According to Swedish law, on-trade alcohol serving premises such as bars and pubs must be vacated 30 minutes after the alcohol serving ends. Therefore, as a consequence of the temporary ban of on-trade alcohol serving establishments must close by 8:30 PM.
As the news magazine Accent reports, police of metropolitan regions Stockholm and Gothenburg have noticed positive impacts of the sales ban.
Christer Fuxborg, press spokesperson for Police Region West from Gothenburg Police notes the following effects:
- Reduced number of robbery victims,
- Less public fights,
- Fewer people taken into police custody for being intoxicated on Christmas Day. In 2019, 40 people were taken into custody in Gothenburg while in 2020 it was only three or four.
From a police point of view, it is fantastically good,” said Christer Fuxborg, press spokesperson for Police Region West, as per Accent.
We can focus on other things. Our clearance rate and reported cases are better than before. So it’s fantastic with the alcohol sales ban so to speak.”Christer Fuxborg, press spokesperson, Police Region West
However, Mr Fuxborg notes there was a small increase in interpersonal violence which is possibly due to alcohol consumption at home, but the increase is not as high as would be expected with more people consuming alcohol at home.
Peter Ågren, police superintendent at the City Police in Stockholm, while saying there is not enough data to draw conclusions, notes that violent crimes in public have reduced according to his observations.
While the Swedish government was somewhat late in addressing alcohol’s role in the spread of COVID-19, the action taken so far seems to be generating positive results for public health and safety.