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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Shoppers queue outside an Ikea in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/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.

Several industries to undergo Covid-19 inspections

As The Local has previously reported, Sweden’s Work Environment Authority plans to carry out workplace inspections to ensure coronavirus measures are being followed, after a “dramatic rise” in reported incidents.

Now we know more about which industries will be the focus of the inspections. Workplace inspections are already underway at schools and construction sites, and now the agency will look at dentists, hardware stores, trains and ferries, expanding further to slaughterhouses and service centres of state authorities.

The majority of inspections take place remotely to ensure employers have carried out risk assessments, taken measures to reduce the possible risk of infection, and protected staff members in risk groups.

Swedish vocabulary: branch (industry) – bransch

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Swedish authorities’ latest coronavirus update

According to the Thursday Covid-19 briefing from authorities, the 14-day incidence rate rose again, to 644 cases per 100,000 residents, which means that across Sweden, more than one person in every 200 received a positive Covid-19 test result in the last 14 days.

In Sweden’s hospitals, the number of people receiving care for Covid-19 has risen to over 1,700, with 294 people being treated for the virus in intensive care wards. The latter figure has not been so high since January 22nd, and nationally there is around 18 percent spare capacity in ICUs, slightly below the target of 20 percent.

Swedish vocabulary: to treat – behandla

Sweden to restart AstraZeneca vaccinations for over-65s

Sweden will restart vaccinations using AstraZeneca’s vaccine from next week, but only for those over the age of 65.

It comes after a small number reports of serious blood clots in people who had recently received the jab — although a causal link has not been ruled out, Sweden’s Public Health Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation have all said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks.

Swedish vocabulary: blood clot – blodpropp

Sweden to lift distance-learning rule for upper secondary schools

From April 1st, Sweden will resume in-person teaching for some upper-secondary school students. At the moment, all schools for over-16s are recommended to carry out teaching at least partially remotely, but from April, that will no longer be the default. That doesn’t mean all students will return to the classroom, as the decision will fall to school heads and regional infectious disease doctors, based on local spread of the virus and potential crowding risk.

Swedish vocabulary: classroom – klassrum

Sweden’s Liberal Party to take a crucial vote this weekend

This weekend, the board of Sweden’s Liberal Party will meet to vote on whether to support the centre-left coalition government or campaign alongside the centre-right Moderate party ahead of next year’s September general election.

In the previous election, they also campaigned with the Moderates, but ultimately chose to support the Social Democrats and Green Party after a deadlock which meant the alternative was a government propped up by the far-right Sweden Democrats. But three weeks ago, party leadership narrowly voted in favour of leaving the current agreement and returning to their former allies.

This week the party’s council will vote on the issue, but it’s divided, with several members critical of the party line. Because the decision relates to what happens in the next election it won’t have an immediate impact, but it could increase party divides and impact the level of support for the Liberals, who are currently at risk of not reaching the minimum threshold for parliamentary representation in the next election.

Swedish vocabulary: decision – beslut

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