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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Sweden's Princess Estelle with her brother, Prince Oscar, and dog, Rio. Photo: Kate Gabor/Kungliga Hovstaterna/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.

More Scandinavians want to become Swedish – at least partly

An increasing number of people from Nordic countries are applying for dual Swedish citizenship, reports Swedish public radio broadcaster SR's news programme Ekot.

In the Skåne region in southern Sweden, the number of applications have doubled to more than 400 in the past couple of months, compared to the same period a year ago. Stockholm and Dalarna report an increase of 30 and 60 percent, respectively.

The increase is believed to be partly linked to the pandemic (dual citizenship helps when navigating various travel restrictions between the countries), but also the fact that Norway changed its rules in 2020 to allow dual citizenship.

Swedish vocabulary: citizenship – medborgarskap

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BankID back online after cyber attack

Sweden's digital identification system BankID was down or slow between 7.45pm and 8.15pm on Tuesday, following a DDoS attack by an unknown culprit. During a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service), a website is bombarded with communication requests so that the servers become overloaded and the site crashes.

BankID told Swedish news agency TT that its users' integrity and personal details were protected during the attack, and that no simultaneous attacks had been detected.

Eight million people in Sweden use BankID, which can be used for example for making online purchases, money transfers, or identifying yourself when using official websites.

Swedish vocabulary: overloaded – överbelastad

Sweden's state epidemiologist hints new coronavirus measures on the way

Speaking at the authorities' biweekly press conference, the country's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said that several new recommendations would be announced today, although he gave no further details.

“We have a package on the way which is going to be presented tomorrow [Wednesday],” he said.

The new measures are coming as the country sees a sharp upturn in the number of cases, following more than a month of steady declines.

Sweden has now seen a rising number of cases for two weeks in a row, with an incidence rate of 445 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, which Tegnell described as “a much too high level”.

Swedish vocabulary: today – i dag

'Inevitable' variant first discovered in UK will take over

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said that the more infectious variant first discovered in the UK was spreading extremely rapidly, and was now being detected in as many as 27 percent of all virus samples tested in Stockholm, the region where it was most established.

He said it now seemed “almost inevitable” that the variant would become the dominant one in both Europe and Sweden, “within a few weeks or a month”.

Asked how worried he was that vaccines would be less effective against this variant, Tegnell said he saw “no risk at all”.

“It seems to work just as well. With the two others [the variants first discovered in Brazil and South Africa], it's a little unclear,” he added, but he said that there seemed little risk that they would become sufficiently widespread to be a serious problem.

Swedish vocabulary: take over – ta över

Stockholm's warning: Travel only if you have to – and wear a mask

Stockholm has introduced further measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including urging people to wear face masks at all times on public transport.

The new recommendations include using face masks on public transport at all times, not just during rush hour, as well as in situations where close contact can't be avoided, for example in the workplace, hairdressing salons, pharmacies or the supermarket.

“We need to increase the use of face masks a lot,” said Stockholm's infectious disease doctor Rotzén Östlund. “Put it on before you go into the shop,” she said, because you don't know whether or not you'll end up in a situation where you can't keep a distance.

Swedish vocabulary: face mask – munskydd

Sweden's Princess Estelle turns nine

Estelle, the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, celebrated her ninth birthday on Tuesday.

According to the Royal Court, the celebration was low-key with her parents and brother. The Royal Family was originally supposed to go skiing in the Swedish mountains – as it does most years – but cancelled the trip due to the pandemic.

Swedish vocabulary: The Royal Court – kungahuset

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