The Pandemic Act will not be enough to curb the infection, the Swedish Public Health Agency writes in its response to the government’s proposal for a new law. Even in the future, personal responsibility is most important.
“The vast majority of covid-19 cases have been infected at home or in the workplace. The bill does not address these situations. Even after the introduction of the pandemic law, personal responsibility and voluntariness will continue to be crucial to slow the spread of infection,” writes the Public Health Agency (FHM) in the consultation response.
The government has so far used recommendations and exhortations, and tried to regulate crowds and congestion with mainly the Public Order Act and the Alcohol Act. These are blunt instruments and the idea of the new pandemic law is to have more powerful and accurate tools.
For example, with the support of the new law, the government will be able to decide on closures of shopping centers and public transport or prohibit people from staying in parks and beaches. In addition, a difference from today is that anyone who breaks the rules can be punished with a fine.
Does not stop the infection
But FHM does not believe that the new tools will be enough to slow down the spread of infection. The most important thing will continue to be that people voluntarily take responsibility, make sure to keep their distance and stay at home when they have symptoms.
Even if the law approaches the private sector by, for example, giving the opportunity to ban parties in the tenant-owner association’s premises, it does not extend into homes.
FHM states that the law is very intrusive, both for people and businesses and therefore believes that it should be used carefully, as a complement to voluntary measures. “The law and its authorizations should be used only when no other available measures have proved sufficient,” the authority writes.
In addition, FHM believes that the measures should apply for as short a time as possible and be reviewed continuously, for example after two weeks.
“Since corresponding measures are historically unparalleled in the Swedish context and the short-term effects _ and the consequences _ cannot of course be predicted, this is an important safety valve also from an infection control perspective”, it is stated in the consultation response.
County administrative boards are also given the opportunity to make decisions in individual cases in a different way than today. FHM believes that this should be the first choice, rather than through national interventions.
Facts: The Covid-19 law – the proposal
The government wants to introduce a temporary pandemic law for covid-19.
The purpose: to give the government and other authorities increased opportunities to introduce measures to slow the spread of infection, without limiting activities that can be carried out infection-free.
Activities that are to be covered by the law are:
* public gatherings and public events
* places for leisure or cultural activities
* shops, shopping malls
* public transport
* premises, such as party rooms, and places for private gatherings
* public places, such as parks and bathing areas
In “very serious situations”, it must be possible to make decisions about closing down, for example, shops, public transport or shopping centers.
The law provides the opportunity to limit opening hours and number of people.
Anyone who violates the ban can be punished with a fine.
The Government must allow the Riksdag to review the decision within one month of the decision on the ban or closure.
In the draft that is being submitted for consultation, the law is proposed to enter into force on 15 March 2021 and apply until the end of March 2022. Now the government wants to introduce it as early as 15 January.
Source: Government Offices