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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
It may be time to renew your or your family member's Swedish passport. 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.

Swedish police warn of complex pandemic regulations

Police have warned that Sweden’s pandemic rules are becoming harder to navigate. In a statement to the government, the authority argues that it may be hard for the public to keep track of the mix of non-binding guidelines, binding regulations and laws.

The police made the statement after it was asked to respond to a government proposal intended to make the rules for public events more flexible (so that they can be adapted depending on the type of event and how likely it is to cause an outbreak) and allow local authorities to ban people from certain public spaces and fine offenders 2,000 kronor.

“It is a relatively thorny regulatory framework that is additionally often changed or expanded. It may therefore sometimes be difficult for the public to keep track of which rules are mandatory and which are recommendation,” write the police.

Swedish vocabulary: rule – regel

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See also on The Local:

Why did ‘Hesa Fredrik’ not ring out in Malmö yesterday?

Sweden tests its outdoor warning sirens like clockwork four times a year at 3pm on the first Monday of the month. The loud signal – a series of seven-second blasts interspersed with 14-second silence, followed by a longer signal which indicates ‘hazard over’ – frequently causes brief jitters if you hear it and happen to forget what day it is.

But the southern cities and towns of Malmö, Burlöv, Eslöv, Kävlinge and Lund remained silent yesterday, after the emergency services who are in charge of testing the system simply forgot. “I haven’t pressed a button and I’m supposed to be doing it,” one of their staff members confirmed to Swedish regional public radio P4 Malmöhus.

The signal, which is supposed to inform the public of danger such as a big fire, explosion or even war, was nicknamed ‘Hoarse Fredrik’ (‘Hesa Fredrik’) after a Swedish columnist at Dagens Nyheter in the 1930s, Oscar Fredrik Rydqvist, noted that it sounded like himself when he had a cold.

Swedish vocabulary: hazard over – faran över

Alarm as Covid-19 cases rise once again in Sweden

As of Monday, a total of 240 people were receiving intensive care treatment for Covid-19 across Sweden, up from 197 just ten days previously.

In early January, the figure reached more than 380 at its highest, still a significant drop from the peak of the first wave in spring 2020, when more than 500 people were being treated in ICUs for Covid-19.

The intensive care figures give a reflection of the levels of infection one to two weeks previously, because on average people are admitted to intensive care 10.8 days after falling ill. We’ve written a bit more about this on The Local HERE.

Swedish vocabulary: intensive care – intensivvård

‘Green pass’: European Commission to propose EU-wide vaccine passports for summer

Europeans may be allowed to travel more freely this summer with a new digital vaccination passport in a plan set to be laid out by the European Commission.

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced the plan for a “digital green pass” in a speech to German lawmakers on Monday and then added some details on Twitter.

The “digital green pass” would provide proof that a person has received the vaccination as well as test results for anyone who has not yet been vaccinated. It would also include information on recovery for anyone who has previously contracted Covid-19.

“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism,” von der Leyen tweeted.

Swedish vocabulary: travel – resa

Passport queues predicted in wake of pandemic

More than half a million expired Swedish passports have not yet been renewed, the Swedish Police Authority has reiterated. 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.

So if you are planning to travel on a Swedish passport when it is again possible to do so freely, it may be a good idea to get ahead of the queues and renew it now.

Swedish vocabulary: renew – förnya

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