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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Anders Wiklund/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.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to be questioned over Sweden’s coronavirus strategy

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will be questioned this month by the Swedish parliament’s Committee on the Constitution over the action he took to handle the coronavirus pandemic. The date for his hearing has now been set to April 26th.

It comes as part of an inquiry launched by an opposition politician to investigate the Swedish pandemic strategy and crisis management, and several key figures have already been questioned, among others the heads of the Public Health Agency, National Board of Health and Welfare, and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

Health Minister Lena Hallengren is set to appear before the committee on Friday, followed by Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg on Monday next week.

Swedish vocabulary: Committee on the Constitution – konstitutionsutskottet (KU)

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Swedish government’s bid to extend Pandemic Law

The government has proposed extending the Pandemic Law until January 2022. The law came into effect on January 10th and is otherwise set to expire at the end of September.

The law doesn’t do much on its own, but it gives the government and local authorities increased powers to roll out health and safety measures to prevent crowding – for example limits on public gatherings, certain public transport and retail venues.

The government has also proposed extending a law on measures for restaurants, which currently have to close at 8.30pm, until January 2022.

None of the above means that current coronavirus restrictions will definitely remain in place until January 2022. It all depends on how the spread of infection – and the rate of vaccinations – develops.

Swedish vocabulary: Pandemic Law – pandemilagen

When will you get your tax refund in Sweden?

Did you not have to make any changes to your Swedish tax declaration, and did you submit it online before the end of March? You will get any rebate April 7th-9th.

If you know that you are owed money back but don’t get it, it could be because you haven’t submitted your bank account details to the Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

If so, you can submit your details HERE, and Skatteverket promises that you will get any outstanding payment within a week.

Swedish vocabulary: rebate – skatteåterbäring

Swedish budget: Billion-kronor bid to boost healthcare in wake of pandemic

The government has announced plans to inject another seven billion kronor into Swedish healthcare due to the pandemic, as part of its upcoming budget bill.

Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson made the announcement at a press conference, joined by her Social Democrat colleague Health Minister Lena Hallengren, and Deputy Finance Minister Åsa Lindhagen of the Green Party.

They said another seven billion kronor (approximately $804 million) would be earmarked for Covid-19 care and other types of healthcare that have been postponed due to the pandemic, as well as purchasing vaccine and carrying out vaccinations.

You can read more about that, and the government’s spring amendment budget, HERE.

Swedish vocabulary: healthcare – sjukvård

Nine out of ten Swedes want to get Covid-19 jab

The majority of Swedes will be happy to get vaccinated against Covid-19 when it is their turn, a new survey by the Public Health Agency suggests. Around 3,000 people responded to the survey, which was carried out in mid-March – before Sweden’s decision to reopen vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab to people aged above 65.

Of the respondents 91 percent said they would “definitely” or “probably” get vaccinated. Five percent said they would not take the vaccine, and four percent were undecided. The proportion of people willing to get vaccinated was above 88 percent in all age groups, but older people were more likely to say yes than younger people.

Swedish vocabulary: age – ålder

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