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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Stockholm is cracking down on electric scooters. Photo: Veronica Johansson/SvD/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 to present new rules for work permit holders

What should Sweden's future rules for work permit holders be? That's what a new government inquiry is set to propose later today – here's what we know so far.

The first of two reports on labour migration is set to present measures to attract international talent to Sweden, and measures that would crack down on employers abusing the system, at a press conference with the justice minister on Tuesday.

It is understood to include proposals on for example maintenance requirements, talent deportation, talent visas and making it possible for work permit holders who are waiting for a decision on their permit extension to travel abroad in the meantime.

Swedish vocabulary: labour migration – arbetskraftsinvandring

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See also on The Local:

How do Sweden's test-and-trace programmes work?

Swedish public radio broadcaster SR's news programme Ekot has been in touch with eight out of the country's 21 regions to find out their test-and-trace procedures.

In four – Jämtland, Västerbotten, Dalarna and Gävleborg – everyone with confirmed Covid-19 gets a phone call from tracers, to find out who they may have infected.

In Skåne, Västra Götaland, Stockholm and Östergötland, the majority of people have to look for information themselves via 1177's online website, and they are asked to fill out a form to answer questions that are similar to those a contact tracer would ask, reports Ekot.

Swedish vocabulary: contact tracing – smittspårning

A nurse holding a Covid-19 test tube. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Stockholm rolls out parking fines for electric scooters

“We want electric scooters to make it easier to move around on the streets of Stockholm. Instead, it's often the complete opposite,” said Daniel Helldén, Stockholm city councillor responsible for traffic issues, in a press statement on Monday.

The city has decided that the companies that own the electric scooters should get parking fines of 250 kronor every time one of them is parked in the wrong place.

Swedish vocabulary: electric scooter – elsparkcykel

Questions after government's Covid-19 web page changes

Questions were raised after several people noted on social media that the Swedish government had quietly changed a web page explaining its coronavirus strategy.

The government's article titled “Strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic”, published in April last year, originally stated: “The overall objective of the government's efforts is to reduce the pace of the Covid-19 virus's spread: to ‘flatten the curve' so that large numbers of people do not become ill at the same time.”

But at some point between January 26th and February 1st, reported journalist Emanuel Karlsten, the sentence changed to “The overall objective of the government's efforts is to reduce the Covid-19 virus's spread in society”.

The change came amid increasingly heated debate about Sweden's coronavirus strategy – whether enough was done to curb the spread of the virus, or whether the country allowed the virus to slowly spread at a pace hospitals were able to cope with in order to achieve herd immunity, which decision-makers have denied.

After Karlsten approached the government to ask about the change, the page was changed back to its original statement. A press spokesperson first could not say what had happened, then later said that the article had been updated by mistake.

Swedish vocabulary: mistake – misstag

The Local's screenshot of the government's web page, and the deleted sentence highlighted in yellow.

How many Brits have been granted post-Brexit residence status in Sweden?

After the UK left the EU last year, Brits living in Sweden have until September to apply for a residence permit.

Applications opened on December 1st, but a spokesperson for the Migration Agency told The Local that processing only began in January as there was not funding to begin before this.

As of January 29th, the agency had received 5,179 applications and made decisions on just over ten percent. Of those, one was rejected, four written off, and 565 were approved. You can read more in The Local's full article HERE.

Swedish vocabulary: residence status – uppehållsstatus

Who is Ica-Stig and why do the Swedes seem to care so much?

You might have noticed a lot of discussion about a supermarket advert in Sweden this week. It is created by Ica, which is one of the major supermarket chains in Sweden.

They take the form of a mini 'soap', each advert lasting less than a minute and following storylines set in an Ica store, showcasing the current special offers and low prices. They've been running in this format since 2001 and hundreds of episodes have been broadcast.

It's been a big topic of discussion recently because the actor who plays Stig stepped down. Speculation on social media was rife as to who the replacement would be, and Ica played along by dropping clues in the films.

So just how big a deal is this in Sweden? The Local explains the fuss this article.

Swedish vocabulary: store – affär/butik

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