Siblings locked up by parents amid Covid-19 fears should remain in care, Swedish court rules

A court in Sweden has ruled three siblings locked up for almost five months by their parents during the coronavirus crisis, should remain in care.

THE children, aged 10 to 17, were kept apart from one another and were not allowed to leave the family home, according to the court verdict in Jönköping county.

Their parents reportedly ‘nailed the front door shut with planks’ to prevent them going outdoors between March and July to stop them becoming infected with the killer bug.

Representing the children, Mikael Svegfors told Sveriges Radio, that the parents understood little Swedish and followed the news from their own home country, which has tighter restrictions.

He said the children were caught up in “the fear of a pandemic we should all be afraid of in one way or another.”

The case was “obviously very sensitive,” but the court and local social services had the children’s best interests at heart, he added.

They plan to appeal against the ruling, and claim the children were being home-schooled and could leave the home whenever they pleased.

Sweden’s more relaxed approach to the pandemic has been widely criticised.

While schools were closed in most European countries, Sweden kept them open for under-16’s. Families who failed to send their children to classes were reported and fined.

And rather than imposing laws and closing bars, restaurants, shops and gyms, the government relied on the public’s sense of ‘civic responsibility’ to combat the spread of coronavirus.

It was argued the country’s economy could not withstand a nationwide lockdown.

As of this morning, September 3, Sweden – which has a population of 10.2 million – has recorded 84,532 coronavirus cases and 5,820 deaths.

While this is siginificantly higher than neighbouring countries per million inhabitants, it is lower than the likes of Spain and the UK where much stricter restrictions were imposed.

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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