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 Swedish Armed Forces help guard the border to Norway. Photo: Tommy Pedersen/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.

Passport queues predicted in wake of pandemic

More than half a million expired Swedish passports have not been renewed in 2020, writes the Swedish Police Authority. But it warns that once it is again possible to travel freely, this backlog is going to cause long queues at the police's passport offices as people then rush to get their passports renewed.

“If your passport or national ID card has expired or will expire soon, you should book a time for your application well ahead of time,” advises the Police Authority.

You can book an appointment to get a new or renew your passport here.

Swedish vocabulary: passport – pass

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Northern Sweden braces for ski tourists

Swedish mountain regions are warning visitors ahead of the February school break, which gets under way in some parts of Sweden next week, reports Swedish radio.

“The number of cases have increased in the past week and we have several clusters around the region, so this is really not good,” Micael Widerström, infectious disease doctor in Jämtland-Härjedalen – home to popular ski resort Åre – told the radio.

Meanwhile, the radio reports that several ski resorts say that visitors have got worse at keeping a distance from one another and following their coronavirus restrictions.

Swedish vocabulary: visitor – besökare

Ski tourists queuing for the slopes in Åre at the end of 2020. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Covid-19 cases almost double within a week in northern Swedish region

The number of positive Covid-19 test results in the northern Swedish region of Västerbotten almost doubled over the past week, with the increase in the town of Skellefteå linked to staff screening at battery manufacturer Northvolt.

In Lycksele, around 150 people tested positive for Covid-19 after outbreaks began at two schools, one for over-16s and one for 13-15-year-olds.

Overall the Västerbotten region reported 806 cases in the first week of February, up from 440 the previous week – including more than 30 who tested positive for the variant of the coronavirus first reported in the UK, called B117. The percentage of tests returning positive results was 7.9 percent, still lower than the national average.

Swedish vocabulary: average – genomsnitt

How much overtime did healthcare workers get in 2020?

Swedish healthcare workers received 3.2 billion kronor of overtime pay in 2020, according to those 20 out of 21 regions who responded to a survey by Dagens Samhälle.

In total, the regions' healthcare staff worked around six million hours of overtime last year, an increase of 600,000 hours compared to the year before. In 2019 the regions paid out 2.7 billion kronor's worth of overtime compensation to healthcare workers.

Overtime is usually regulated in workplaces' collective agreement with unions.

Swedish vocabulary: overtime – övertid

An intensive care ward for Covid-19 patients. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

What are the current rules on travel into Sweden?

Who is allowed into Sweden right now? The answer depends on the country you're travelling from, your purpose for travelling, and your country of citizenship or residence. The Local has tried to answer some of your questions in these articles (and we are working on more articles that help explain the situation):

Swedish vocabulary: explain – förklara

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