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

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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
File photo to remind readers to change to winter tyres. Photo: Johan Nilsson/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 investigates coronavirus reinfection

Sweden's Public Health Agency is investigating around 150 cases of potential coronavirus reinfection – people who got sick, recovered, and then caught the virus a second time. "It is expected that you get reinfected, but it is not known when most people do. There are individual factors behind it, among other things your immune defence system at the point of the second infection. It also seems to depend on how powerful the first infection was," Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the agency's microbiology department, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The Public Health Agency said earlier this year that people who have been diagnosed and recovered from Covid-19 are likely immune from reinfection for several months, even if they don't have antibodies. But much remains unknown, so people who have antibodies are urged to take the same health and safety precautions as everyone else.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in September that although there may be unknown cases of reinfection due to lack of testing early in the pandemic, "the evidence indicates that reinfection is an uncommon event".

Swedish vocabulary: fall ill again – återinsjukna

File photo of a person getting tested for coronavirus. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT


Swedish prisons reopen to visitors

Sweden's low-security open prisons (security class 3) reopened to outdoor visits in September. Outdoor visits are not possible in higher-security prisons (security class 1 and 2), but the Swedish Prison and Probation Service will now allow visits from today onwards.

"To decrease the negative consequences of being locked up, it is of great importance that inmates are able to receive visits from family," said a spokesperson in a statement.

The inmate and the visitor will be separated by plexi-glass to prevent coronavirus infection, apart from children aged under 13 who are allowed physical contact.

Sweden halted all visits to prisons and detention centres in early March when the pandemic hit, and the ban may be reinstated if the situation deteriorates further.

Swedish vocabulary: prison – fängelse

After eight months, Sweden is again allowing visitors at prisons. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT


Weather report

Sweden has so far had an unusually warm autumn and early winter, with average temperatures of two to five degrees higher than normal, according to national weather agency SMHI. Gladhammar in south-eastern region Småland reached the old weather record for November, 18.4C on November 6th, first set in Ugerup, Skåne, in 1968.

But colder temperatures are expected later this week. For the south this will mean that they will return to normal levels for this time of the year, and northern and central regions Norrland and Svealand may even get snow. So if you drive to work every day, you may want to book a time for changing to winter tyres if you haven't already.

Swedish vocabulary: winter tyres – vinterdäck

All cars must have winter tyres if the weather conditions require it from December 1st. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Fewer bankruptcies but more people lose their jobs

Around three percent fewer businesses have declared bankruptcy during 2020 compared to last year, after a sharp peak in March and April when the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis. But more employees have been affected this year when businesses did fail: 13 percent more than last year.

"We're seeing the largest change in percentages between the periods January-October 2019 and 2020 in hotels and accommodation. In that group, the number of bankruptcies increases by 107 percent. There's also a 16 percent increase in restaurants, catering and bars, but in that group it's mainly the increase in the number of affected employees that's concerning: 39 percent," said the agency's statistician Lars Sundell in a statement.

Swedish vocabulary: bankruptcy – konkurs

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