Sweden, infamous for not imposing a lockdown during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, appears to be changing tack and implementing stricter measures as a second wave of infections takes hold and hospitalizations rise.

On Monday, it announced that public gatherings of more than eight people were no longer allowed, marking a shift in tone for the Scandinavian country that has so far largely relied on voluntary measures and guidance during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced the new limit on gatherings, lowered from a previous limit of 50 people (or 300 people for some cultural or sporting events), signaling a more aggressive approach to containing the spread of infections.

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