Swedish PM warns pandemic situation "very serious" as new local restrictions announced

STOCKHOLM, Nov 3 (Reuters) - COVID-19 cases are increasing fast in Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Tuesday as he announced stricter recommendations for another three regions.

“We have a very serious situation,” Lofven told a news conference. “More and more intensive care beds are now being used to treat COVID patients. The respite we got this summer is over.”

He also said parties at restaurants would be limited to eight people.

Sweden has seen a surge in new infections in recent weeks, surpassing peaks set in the spring, though levels are not as high as in countries like Belgium, Spain and France relative to the size of the population.

Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard