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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday

Anders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Sole traders will be able to apply for coronavirus support

People who run sole proprietorships should soon be able to apply for financial support to make up for lost revenue due to the coronavirus during spring and summer.

The government is currently finalising the proposals, which were first announced two months ago and are set to open on November 9th. Sole traders will be able to receive a maximum of 120,000 kronor, with a total of 3.5 billion kronor earmarked.

To be eligible, sole traders must have had an annual turnover of 200,000 kronor or more, and lost at least 30 percent year on year to receive support for March and April, 40 percent for May and 50 percent for June, for reasons clearly linked to the pandemic.

Swedish vocabulary: turnover – omsättning

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Tighter coronavirus measures rolled out to two more regions

Sweden has extended its local coronavirus measures to another two regions, Kronoberg and Sörmland, as the country's death toll passed 6,000 on Thursday. Regional coronavirus measures now apply in Halland, Jönköping, Kronoberg, Stockholm, Sörmland, Uppsala, Skåne, Västra Götaland, Örebro and Östergötland – ten out of Sweden's 21 administrative regions.

The recommendations include avoiding indoor environments like shops, and avoiding physical contact (being closer than 1.5 metres) with people you don't like with.

Swedish vocabulary: death toll – dödstal


The main hospital in Eskilstuna in Sörmland. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Coronavirus outbreaks, but no mutation, at ten Swedish mink farms

Coronavirus outbreaks have been found on a total of ten mink farms in Sweden, but the country has decided not to follow Denmark in culling all its minks. In Denmark, around 15 million minks will be culled after a new mutation of the coronavirus began to spread among both minks and humans, with fears this could make a potential vaccine less effective. Inhabitants of the seven affected municipalities have been told not to travel to other areas.

“We have not seen the mutation of virus in Sweden, as has been seen in Denmark,” Håkan Henrikson, chief veterinary doctor at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, told the TT newswire. Swedish authorities have therefore decided not to require the destruction of fur from minks that had the coronavirus, saying the virus is unlikely to survive more than a week on the fur.

Sweden has about 40 mink farms in total while Denmark has over 1,000.

Swedish vocabulary: outbreak – utbrott

Danish PM Mette Frederiksen announced the killing of all the country's minks. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

UK reimposes quarantine on travellers from Sweden

Anyone travelling from Sweden to the UK will again be required to quarantine for 14 days from Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday evening. 

Sweden and Germany are to be removed from the UK's list of travel corridors – countries that are exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine rules that apply to other international travellers – at 4am on November 7th.

Swedish vocabulary: UK – Storbritannien

London Heathrow Airport in June. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Emails reveal Sweden's early coronavirus strategy was based on 'herd immunity'

Sweden's Public Health Agency responded to the coronavirus in its early stages by aiming for herd immunity, email correspondence obtained for a book and published in Svenska Dagbladet shows.

The emails were between Peet Tüll, former head of the National Board of Health and Welfare's infectious disease department, and Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist who took over this role when Tüll retired. The former wrote to Tegnell in March, saying that there were three strategies to stop the epidemic: a four-week total shutdown of society, comprehensive contact tracing of all those infected and a two-week quarantine of their close contacts, or “let the infection spread, slowly or fast, to reach a hypothetical herd immunity'.

Tüll suggested following the second method, but Tegnell replied saying that his team had decided on the third. Only a section of the email correspondence has been published, and Tegnell has told Svenska Dagbladet that only the third model was doable, saying: “It's not the case that we are sacrificing lots of people to achieve immunity.” Previously published emailed have also shown Swedish officials discussing herd immunity, which they have publicly said was not the aim of their strategy albeit a possible consequence.

Swedish vocabulary: herd immunity – flockimmunitet

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