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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Temperatures are warming up across Sweden over the weekend; here's what else is going on. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

New guidelines for schoolchildren who have been exposed to Covid-19

Schoolchildren should be tested for Covid-19 if they have been in close contact with someone with confirmed infection, even if they themselves do not have symptoms, according to new recommendations given by the Public Health Agency to contact tracers.

The previous recommendation stated that schoolchildren older than six should get tested if they have symptoms. There haven’t previously been any national guidelines on what schoolchildren who share a household with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should do regarding testing (but they are told to stay at home), but many regions advise household contacts who are older than six to get tested.

Swedish vocabulary: schoolchildren – skolbarn

The latest key figures on the spread of Covid-19 in Sweden

Sweden’s 14-day incidence rate (new cases per 100,000 residents) rose to 764 on Thursday as the Public Health Agency urged people that it was more important than ever to follow recommendations such as working from home if possible, limiting social contacts as much as possible, and keeping distance from others. You can see more in our collection of coronavirus graphs and maps.

Additionally, the government is holding a press briefing at 8.10am on Friday relating to the vaccination programme.

Swedish vocabulary: figures – siffror

Boost for healthcare and jobs in Sweden’s spring budget

Sweden’s spring budget was announced on Thursday, with measures amounting to almost 45 billion kronor.

A lot of that went, unsurprisingly, to the healthcare sector, including 2 billion to cover costs of Covid-19 care as well as care postponed due to the pandemic, and 1.65 billion for testing and contact tracing work for example.

Some crisis support for businesses was also extended, plus a 1.8 billion kronor jobs package including funding for university summer courses, job-matching programmes and vocational courses combined with Swedish language studies.

Here are some of the measures most likely affect individuals:

  • The extension of the paid first day of sick leave until at least the end of June, meaning that if you get sick you can stay home from work without losing out on so much money.
  • Compensation for people in Covid-19 risk groups who miss work due to the pandemic is also extended until at least the end of June.
  • The amount which employers can spend on gifts for employees before paying tax is raised from 1,000 to 2,000 kronor.
  • Support for short-term lay-offs (so that the state covers part of an employee’s salary if their working hours are reduced due to Covid-19) is extended until at least the end of June
  • Sweden’s housing allowance (bostadsbidrag) will be increased in July. People who receive this benefit don’t need to do anything extra.

Swedish vocabulary: crisis support – krisstöd

Swedish Academy loses court case over Nazi use of classic poems

The Swedish Academy – the body best known for picking the Nobel Literature Prize laureate – lost a bid to bar a Nazi website from publishing classic Swedish poems.

A website run by the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), a neo-Nazi movement active in the Nordic countries, published several classic Swedish literary works. The Swedish Academy claimed the works fell under copyright laws that protect classic works even after the authors are long dead and their copyright has expired, saying these laws protected the works from being published alongside offensive material.

Swedish vocabulary: copyright – upphovsrätt

‘Specialised team’ in the works for long Covid sufferers

Around 2,000 people have so far been diagnosed with long Covid in Sweden, the name given to a range of complications in the aftermath of a Covid-19 infection, but little is known about how to treat it. Common symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, and generally ill health, but can vary significantly between patients.

Now there are new recommendations for healthcare sector to set up specialized teams dedicated to the illness, to ensure among other things that people with long Covid are seen by multiple doctors.

“Not knowing what works best has been a frustration for us, for healthcare workers and not least for the patients,” Thomas Lindén, a department head at the National Board of Health and Welfare, told the TT newswire.

Swedish vocabulary: fatigue – trötthet

Support for tighter expenses rules for MPs

Swedish members of parliament may be forced to pay back money if they receive too high an amount in expenses and allowances, and they would be charged interest.

The proposals for tighter rules have broad support among parliament, according to a Sveriges Radio survey, and should be introduced on January 1st 2022.

Swedish vocabulary: parliament – riksdag

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