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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
The border between Denmark and Sweden closed at midnight. 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 blocks travel from UK

Sweden's entry ban on people travelling from the UK came into effect at midnight and applies to travel by plane, boat or car, initially for a month. There is also a separate ban on all UK-Sweden flights until 4pm on Wednesday, over concerns of a new Covid strain.

Swedish citizens cannot be prevented from entering the country (although even for citizens there may be other complications such as cancelled flights). But a spokesperson confirmed to The Local that British citizens with residence permits, residence status or who were planning to move to live in Sweden are not exempt from the entry ban.

If you recently arrived in Sweden from the UK, you should follow a number of guidelines, including getting tested and staying at home for at least a week.

Read more about the entry ban HERE. Are you in this situation and want to share your story with The Local? You can email our editorial team at [email protected].

Swedish vocabulary: travel – resa

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Sweden blocks travel from Denmark

Sweden has also imposed an entry ban on people travelling from Denmark, which came into effect at midnight and is also set to last for a month. Swedish citizens are exempt, as are non-citizens who live or work in Sweden, and people working in transportation of goods.

The mutated virus found in the UK has also been discovered in Denmark, but the entry ban in this case is mainly based on the high strain on healthcare in the neighbouring Skåne region, while large parts of society including shops and restaurants are closed in Denmark but not Sweden.

“There is an obvious risk that Danes will be tempted to cross over to Sweden to shop for Christmas presents or spend time in Malmö for instance,” said Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg.

Swedish vocabulary: entry ban – inreseförbud


The Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark on Monday evening. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

European Union officially approves Pfizer vaccine for rollout

The EU Commission gave the green light on Monday to the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use across the European Union. It comes after the European Medicines Agency also gave its approval.

Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren is set to hold a press conference at 11.30am today about the vaccine. Sweden has previously said it is expecting to start rolling out vaccinations on or around December 27th. Read more about what we know so far here.

Swedish vocabulary: vaccine – vaccin

New inquiry into the Swedish school system

The Swedish government and its partners in parliament are set to order an inquiry into how the school system could be run at a state level, reports the Dagens Nyheter newspaper – rather than by the country's 290 municipalities who have been responsible for schools for more than three decades.

The Liberals are the main drivers behind the bid, and the inquiry is in line with what the Social Democrat-Green coalition government agreed with the Liberals and the Centre Party in the January Agreement, which allowed the former to form a government after the 2018 election with the support of the latter two.

Swedish vocabulary: education – utbildning


A schoolchild studying at home. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

New statistics on Christmas train travel

Around 60 percent of state-run train operator SJ's seats are empty this Christmas, reports the TT news agency. There are two possible reasons for that. One is concern over the coronavirus – although Sweden doesn't have any recommendations against travel in place, people are urged to limit their contacts as much as possible which means more people than usual are likely choosing to stay at home, or are travelling by car instead.

The other reason is that Christmas Eve – Sweden's main day of festivities – falls on a Thursday. “It increases the number of possible travel days. Some started travelling on Friday, which means travel is more spread out,” SJ spokesperson Stephan Ray told TT.

This of course does not mean that 60 percent of seats are empty on each and every departure. There have already been reports of crowding on some trains.

Swedish vocabulary: train – tåg


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