Swedish high schools switch to distance learning as second COVID wave mounts

FILE PHOTO: Irmelie Olander, Ebba Palmaer, Siri Landstrom and Mathilde Ingrosso Hildingsson study at home as high schools have been closed in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Stockholm, Sweden March 19, 2020. Jessica Gow/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s high schools will switch to distance learning from Dec. 7 for the rest of the term, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Thursday amid mounting numbers of new coronavirus infections and deaths across the country.

“This is being done so as to have a slowing effect on the spread of the disease,” Lofven told a news conference.

“This is not an extended break for Christmas,” he said, adding in an appeal to students: “I’m putting trust in you.”

After a lull during summer, cases have surged over the past couple of months with daily records repeatedly set. Deaths and hospitalisations have also risen sharply.

High school students will study from home until Jan. 6.

Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Niklas Pollard