Pubs in Gothenburg were singled out by the regional council as a particular concern in its latest report on crowding in Västra Götaland. Increased inspections has made it clear that there is “a serious problem of crowding, especially in late evenings,” the report stated.
Sweden's regions have been asked to provide regular reports on the local situation regarding the pandemic, while responsibility for carrying out inspections of restaurants — which are subject to stricter rules than other businesses — and close them down if necessary, lies with municipalities.
“One of the tools we have under the new legislation is to close down businesses entirely. But that's a drastic measure,” said Peter Löwendahl, press spokesperson for the Gothenburg municipal environment department.
One restaurant, located on the main boulevard known as Avenyn, has had its opening hours reduced so that it must close at midnight instead of 5am.
“We have carried out inspections there on 12 occasions, and at ten of them there was some problem,” said Löwendahl. “The later it gets and the more alcohol guests have had, the more crowded it gets and that increases the risk of spreading infection. It also gets harder for staff to get customers to respect the rules on, for example, one metre's distance between groups.”
Although half of the region's municipalities said that there are no significant problems with crowding, it was not only Gothenburg to report issues. Another concern raised in the report related to crowding at popular coastal spots in Bohuslän, especially on public transport.