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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
The Public Health Agency, whose office is shown here, has come under pressure as regions warn they can't afford to wait to introduce further coronavirus measures. Photo: Amir Nabizadeh / 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.

Sweden's party leaders hold coronavirus talks again

Talks between the leaders of Sweden's political parties about the coronavirus epidemic and response have been restarted in the form of a video call on Wednesday evening, after similar meetings took place in spring. Representatives from relevant agencies, the Public Health Agency and National Board of Health and Welfare, were also present.

Ahead of the meeting, Moderate Party leader and de facto leader of the opposition Ulf Kristersson said he was concerned by “mixed messages” from the government. Along with Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, he highlighted testing and contact tracing as key issues, arguing that Sweden's 21 regions need more support from the government. The Left Party called for the closure of Swedish mink farms after a coronavirus mutation was found among Danish minks.

Swedish vocabulary: video call – videosamtal

Party leaders at a TV debate earlier this year. Photo: SVT Press

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Dalarna warns Public Health Agency over need for local recommendations

In the central region of Dalarna, the chairperson of the municipal board Ulf Berg has warned the area needs local recommendations to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“It must be the spread of infection that determines when the restrictions are to be applied. Not on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the Public Health Agency has chosen to hold press conferences,” Berg told the Aftonbladet daily, saying he was “disappointed” in the agency's strategy.

Speaking on Wednesday, Berg said that if his region didn't get a response the next day, they would introduce their own measures without waiting for the Public Health Agency's approval, something the region of Blekinge has already done.
In practice, the main difference between recommendations issued by the Public Health Agency or regions themselves is that the former are communicated at national press conferences and may be seen to carry a greater weight. Neither are legally enforced.
Swedish vocabulary: spread of infection – smittspridning
Stockholm and Gothenburg to ban visits to care homes

Both Stockholm and Gothenburg have introduced a ban on visits to elderly care homes in the municipalities. A ban was brought in at a national level in April, but lifted on October 1st, although there are strict protocols for visits.

In Stockholm, the visitor ban will initially be in place from November 12th to 30th after a rise in infections in care home settings, while Gothenburg plans to introduce a similar ban within the next few days according to Göteborgs Posten. There are no fines for people violating the ban, and exceptions can be made by homes for special circumstances such as end-of-life visits.
Swedish vocabulary: elderly care home – äldreboende

A distanced family visit at an elderly care home in Nödinge this summer. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
Sweden to ban sale of alcohol after 10pm

The Swedish government on Wednesday proposed a stop to the sale of alcohol after 10pm, which would mean all venues with a licence to sell alcohol must close at 10.30pm at the latest. That would include restaurants, bars including student bars, and nightclubs.

The change won't come into effect immediately. First, it needs to be sent out for consultation before parliament vote on it, after which it is intended to come into effect on November 20th and apply until the end of February 2021. 

Swedish vocabulary: government – regering

Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT


'Every decision you make matters'

Speaking at a press conference to announce the new alcohol measures, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Health and Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren said the government was prepared to take further measures to curb the spread of the virus, but emphasised the role of individual responsibility in flattening the infection curve.

“There are lots of people still doing the right thing, there are lots who keep their distance, who turn down party invitations, who perhaps also question their friends who are acting in the wrong way, and many who take their share of this shared burden. Many of you, of us, are doing our part, but some people aren't,” the prime minister warned. We translated his comments into English.

Swedish vocabulary: to do the right thing – göra rätt

 Photo: Henrik Montgomery / T

Parliament passes post-Brexit residency bill

The Swedish parliament on Wednesday passed a bill meant to protect British residents' right to stay in Sweden after 2020, which means it will come into effect from December 1st.

After this there will be a ten month period during which Brits can apply for a new residence status, which will be granted to all those who have moved to Sweden before the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020, though you do not have to be physically present in Sweden on that date. 

Swedish vocabulary: residence status – uppehållsstatus

File photo: Bench Accounting/Unsplash


Member comments

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  1. I’m still shocked they are sticking with the no mask policy. That to me seems like it would make the biggest difference. People need to start wearing masks in public places.

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