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The first data for the first half of this year suggest that life expectancy had already fallen from 84.7 to 84.4 years for women and from 81.3 to 80.8 years for men. Statistics Sweden announced.

The trend is likely to continue into the final months of 2020, authorities said.

Demographer Örjan Hemström said the data showed Sweden was heading towards the biggest reduction in life expectancy between two years since 1944.

Life expectancy is expected to decline in Sweden due to coronavirus-related deaths. (AP)

“Life expectancy has increased steadily in Sweden over the period 1900-2019,” said Statistics Sweden.

“That sinks stands out”.

Deaths from coronavirus this year were a major factor in the latest estimate, the agency said.

From January to June, there had been almost 6,500 more deaths than during the same period in 2019.

Instead, the emphasis was on personal responsibility, and most bars, schools, restaurants, and lounges remained open.

But last month, when faced with rising COVID-19 cases during the colder fall months, officials introduced voluntary local restrictions.

Cafe and restaurant diners in Sweden are now being urged to follow the eight-person-per-table rule amid rising coronavirus cases. (AP)

The measures gave local health officials powers to instruct citizens to avoid shopping malls, museums, libraries, swimming pools, gyms, sports training, sports games and concerts.

This was followed by the introduction of a limit of eight people per table in cafes and restaurants.

Like most of Europe, Sweden is currently battling a second wave of coronavirus.

The country of 10.2 million people has recorded 236,355 cases and 6,622 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Infections include two members of the royal family of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, who are in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, the Swedish Royal Court announced today.
Swedes enjoyed a life largely free of restrictions during the northern summer months, with bars and restaurants open. But now the cases have increased. (AP)

Statistics Sweden said that the continued spread of the coronavirus may mean that life expectancy calculations will have to be revised again.

The current spread of the virus “may well lead to more surplus deaths during the last two months of the year, which may result in even lower life expectancy in 2020,” said Mr Hemström.

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