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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Will people in Sweden flock to buy camping stoves this Christmas? Photo: Henrik Holmberg / TT

Intensive care staff are working more than 12-hour shifts

Hospital staff at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm are once again working lengthy shifts to handle the pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to handle increased need for intensive care, staff at the unit are now working 12.5-hour shifts instead of eight or ten, which is usually the case. But unlike in spring, when the hospital was in a so-called 'crisis situation', staff are having more time off between the long shifts.

“It feels like a nightmare that has somehow returned,” intensive care nurse Katja Fogelberg told Swedish Radio

Swedish vocabulary: nightmare — mardröm

An intensive care nurse works with a Covid-19 patient at a Gothenburg hospital. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

Confusion over changes to public event laws

When the government announced a ban on public events for more than eight people, ministers said the new number should set a norm. Per Bolund, co-leader of the Green Party, said “no-one should be able to say they didn't know about or didn't understand the recommendations.”

But there has been confusion over exactly what applies. There is particular confusion over whether cinemas are covered by the limit of eight after state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and the interior ministry gave different answers on Swedish radio, and at Tuesday's press conference almost 24 hours after the ban was first announced, Tegnell would not comment on the issue saying he had received “different information”.

An exception to the limit of eight also formally applies for seated audiences at cultural or sporting events. The government has said it expects regions not to use this exception, but it will still be possible after the law changes next week.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has said that “[a maximum of] eight is the new norm for all of society”, and that he expects Swedish people not to meet in groups of eight even in situations where the legal ban does not apply.

Swedish vocabulary: exception — undantag

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell shown on a screen at Tuesday's digital press conference. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Questions over Swedish move to ban post-10pm alcohol sales

The Swedish government last week announced a ban on alcohol sales after 10pm, but consultation with relevant actors before it can become law has raised several questions. Industry organisation Visita has criticised the ban, pointing to existing regulations in place for bars and restaurants, while several regions and restaurant owners have suggested moving the ban to 11pm instead.

The ban is intended to come into effect on November 20th and last until February 2021. The government may adapt the bill before putting it to parliament, based on the feedback from the affected agencies and organisations.

Swedish vocabulary: question mark — frågetecken

Photo: Amir Nabizadeh / TT

WHO urges countries like Sweden to consider face masks

“Masks work,” was the response from the World Heath Organisation's emergencies chief when asked about the Swedish coronavirus strategy. 

Dr Michael Ryan stopped short of saying Sweden should recommend face masks, emphasising that measures such as physical distancing and hand-washing are more important and that masks must be used correctly to be effective, but said they were a useful tool in situations where distancing is not possible.

The Public Health Agency has been repeatedly asked about mask usage as coronavirus cases continue to rise sharply while several regions report crowding on public transport in particular.

Swedish vocabulary: face mask — munskydd

Photo: Erik Simander/TT

Sweden's top Christmas gift of 2020? The camping stove

Each year, retail organisation HUI Research every year predicts what they think will be Sweden's most popular Christmas gift of the year (årets julklapp). The chosen item must be a product that represents the time we're living in and has received new interest that year.

This year, the chosen item is the camping stove, with the organisation saying it represents new ways of meeting friends and family outside, in a more infection-safe way.

Swedish vocabulary: camping stove — stormkök

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts or questions about life in Sweden, you are always welcome to email our editorial team at [email protected].

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For members


Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Court rules on Easter rioters, a wolf shot in Skåne, Midsummer drownings, and Nato talks: find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Court in Örebro to rule on four involved in Easter riots 

A court in Örebro will rule today on four men accused of throwing stones at police over the Easter weekend, and in some cases also filmed attacks on police and encouraged others to carry out attacks. 

The men are accused of the crime of blåljussabotage, literally “blue light sabotage”, which covers attacks on police officers and their cars and other equipment. 

According to the prosecution, the four men attacked and threatened police, damaged police vehicles, and injured police dogs. The attacks took place during protests against plans by the far-right activist Rasmus Paludan to burn copies of the Koran in the city. 

Swedish vocab: blåljussabotage – damaging police property and materials.

Two men drowned in lakes in Sweden over Midsummer weekend 

Police have reported two separate cases of elderly men drowning over the Midsummer weekend, one in Blekinge in southern Sweden, and the other in Vaxholm, outside Stockholm. 
In Blekinge, a  70-year-old man died after falling into the Halen lake in Olofström, on Sunday evening. He was pulled from the water before the ambulance arrived but was declared dead at 9pm. One of the man’s relatives called the emergency services. 

The man in Vaxholm, who was also described as “elderly”, died after falling overboard from a boat on Sunday afternoon. The man’s body was found by divers at 17.30pm.

Swedish vocab: en drunkningsolycka – a drowning accident 

Wolf shot in southern Sweden after attacking sheep

A wolf was shot on Sunday in Svälov, a municipality between the cities of Lund and Helsingborg in southern Sweden. The animal, one of the wolves spotted recently in the far south of Sweden, had attacked a sheep.

“The farmer fired off a warning shot to discourage further attacks, but that did not help, and so a deadly shot was then fired,” said Tom Espgård, who works on predatory animals for Skåne county. 

The wolf, a female weighing 34kg, was shot according to a paragraph in Sweden’s hunting law which allows livestock owners to shoot predators if they find them attacking their animals. 

Swedish vocab: en tamdjursägare – a livestock owner

Swedish PM: ‘I look forward to meeting Erdogan in Madrid’ 

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson responded positively to the downbeat assessment of Nato talks with Turkey given by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Saturday. 

“Good call earlier today with President Erdogan of Turkey on Sweden’s Nato application,” Andersson wrote on Twitter. “Agreed on the importance of making progress in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other Allied leaders.”

In a thread posted on Twitter, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey said that Erdogan had told Andersson that Sweden had so far taken “no tangible action” towards making “concrete changes in its attitude towards PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization”. 

The thread also said that Turkey wants several people it sees as connected to these organisations extradited from Sweden. 

Read our story on Erdogan’s comments here

Swedish vocab: utlämnade – extradited