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

Signs at a restaurant in a Stockholm shopping centre, urging people to keep a distance for coronavirus reasons
Signs at a restaurant in a Stockholm shopping centre, urging people to keep a distance. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/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.

Migration Agency needs another two years to clear backlog

Sweden’s Migration Agency faces a huge backlog of citizenship applications. But in its new budget proposal to the government for 2022-2024 it asks for less money than before, a decrease of around a quarter million kronor, according to the TT news agency.

This is because the Migration Agency is currently being slimmed down as it expect the number of asylum applications to keep dropping since the peak in and around 2015.

But many other applicants still face long waiting times. The agency expects to clear the backlog of asylum and work permit applications this year, and partner permits next year, but not until 2023 for citizenship applications. The current estimated waiting time for citizenship is 38 months, according to the Migration Agency’s website.

Swedish vocabulary: citizenship – medborgarskap

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What to do if your colleague tests positive for Covid in Sweden

Sweden’s Public Health Agency has announced changes to its workplace contact tracing guidelines, meaning that more close contacts of infected staff members will be tested.

Under the updated recommendations, people who have had close contact with a colleague who tests positive for the coronavirus should be tested even if they themselves do not have symptoms. Close contacts are defined as anyone who spent more than 15 minutes over the course of a day (not necessarily 15 consecutive minutes) within two metres’ distance from the person with Covid-19, up to 48 hours before the person with Covid-19 first experienced symptoms.

All close contacts should be tested “quickly on the first day” after they have been identified as a contact, and tested a second time five days later. As before, anyone who does have symptoms is expected to stay at home, get tested and isolate.

Swedish vocabulary: close contact – nära kontakt

Warning of third wave as coronavirus continues to spread in Sweden

Sweden’s coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing, and there is a risk of a third wave that could be more serious than the second wave, despite the ongoing vaccinations.

The number of new coronavirus cases has been on the increase in Sweden for three consecutive weeks now, with a 10 percent increase each week, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told the health authorities’ biweekly press conference on Tuesday.

Sweden now has a national incidence rate of 497 positive cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days, up from 445 a week ago.

Swedish vocabulary: third wave – tredje våg

Swedes suspected of using fake Covid test results

Negative Covid tests are currently required for travel to many countries, and two Swedes were stopped as early as at check-in at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.

Airline staff contacted police, and the pair are now suspected of using forged documents of their negative Covid test results, writes the TT news agency. It was not immediately clear exactly how the documents had been forged and to where they were travelling.

Swedish vocabulary: airport – flygplats


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