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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Justice Minister Morgan Johansson at a press conference about new work permit proposals. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/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.

New drowning statistics released

Seventy-seven people lost their lives in drowning accidents last year, which is the second lowest number in the 2000s (following 68 such fatal accidents in 2019), according to preliminary statistics by the Swedish Life Saving Association.

Eighty-three percent were men, and 47 percent were over the age of 60.

The drownings were mainly related to swimming incidents (June was the deadliest month with 26 deaths) and in 62 percent of the cases, they happened at lakes.

Swedish vocabulary: Swedish Life Saving Association – Svenska livräddningssällskapet

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Swedish municipality rolls out local corona restrictions

Strömstad, a Swedish town close to the Norwegian border, saw its number of new coronavirus infections double last week compared to the week before – despite the fact that the spread appears to be slowly subsiding in the rest of the Västra Götaland region.

The municipality's lower secondary schools (for 13-15-year-olds) will now return to online classes, sports and leisure centres will close and the municipality has asked for permission to reintroduce a ban on visits to care homes for elderly people.

Infectious disease doctor Leif Dotevall told the TT newswire that he did not believe the virus variant first discovered in the UK (and which has also been found in Norway, as well as in Sweden) was behind the increased spread in Strömstad, because no cases of the new variant had been found in randomised testing in the municipality.

He instead argued that Strömstad had previously had a low spread of coronavirus, so had possibly built up less immunity in the population compared to other towns in the region.

Swedish vocabulary: lower secondary school – högstadiet

Strömstad has not been particularly busy since the border between Sweden and Norway closed. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Sweden discovers 250 cases of new coronavirus variant

The Public Health Agency said on Tuesday that a new method of randomised testing had shown that the new variant of coronavirus first discovered in the UK seemed to have become more prevalent. Out of 2,220 positive Covid-19 tests screened, the UK variant had been discovered in 250 samples, 11 percent.

The randomised testing was only carried out in four regions – Västra Götaland, Skåne, Gävleborg och Västmanland – and the data is so far only preliminary. Sequencing is also being carried out to confirm the results.

The Public Health Agency said it was too early to draw any conclusions, but that the results indicated an increased spread of the new variant, which is believed to be more infectious but not otherwise more serious.

Swedish vocabulary: variant – variant

Sweden's new work permit proposals and what they mean for you

New rules for work permit holders in Sweden could come into force as early as the turn of the year, said Justice Minister Morgan Johansson as a government inquiry presented the first of two reports into proposals to tighten Sweden's rules on labour migration.

The proposals include for example making it compulsory for work permit holders who want to bring their family to Sweden to prove that they can financially support them, introducing a talent visa, removing the limit on how many times a work permit holder can extend their temporary permit, and measures to crack down on dishonest employers.

The Local covered Johansson's announcement HERE and we have also written a more in-depth guide to the new proposals in an article for members (read it HERE).

Swedish vocabulary: proposal – förslag

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